Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles withdraws George Floyd clemency recommendation

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has withdrawn a recommendation that George Floyd be granted a posthumous pardon for a 2004 drug conviction in Houston, noting that there were “procedural errors” in the recommendation.

“The Board of Pardons and Paroles has withdrawn 25 clemency recommendations that contained procedural errors and lack of compliance with board rules,” Renae Eze, a spokeswoman for Gov. Greg Abbott, said in a statement on Thursday.

“The board will review and resolve procedural errors and issues related to any pending applications in compliance with their rules,” Ms. Eze said. “As a result of the board’s withdrawal of the recommendation concerning George Floyd, Governor Abbott did not have the opportunity to consider it.” Ms. Eze said that Mr. Abbott “will review all recommendations that the board submits for consideration.”

Allison Mathis, a Harris County public defender who had applied for the pardon for Mr. Floyd, told The Dallas Morning News that the withdrawal “smacks of something untoward.” She said she had not been informed that anything was wrong with the application.

“Greg Abbott and his political appointees have let their politics triumph over the right thing to do,” Ms. Mathis told The Morning News. “This is actually outrageous,” she said. “I expected an up or a down vote. I did not expect this kind of misconduct.”

Texas has only granted one posthumous pardon, which was for a man named Tim Cole, more than a decade ago. Cole had been convicted in 1986 of a Lubbock rape. Nine years later another man confessed, but Cole died in prison in 1999 without hearing about it.

He was finally cleared by DNA evidence in 2008, and after a judge legally exonerated him, the Innocence Project of Texas filed an application for a posthumous pardon with the board of pardons, which recommended that then-governor Rick Perry grant it. Perry Granted the pardon in 2010.




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