Governor Abbott Modifies COVID-19 Orders to Eliminate Confinement as Punishment

May 07, 2020 - 7:43 am

Texas Governor Greg Abbott today modified his executive orders related to COVID-19 to eliminate confinement/jail as a punishment for violating these orders.

These modifications are being applied retroactively, according to a release from the Governor's office.

“Throwing Texans in jail who have had their businesses shut down through no fault of their own is nonsensical, and I will not allow it to happen,” said Governor Abbott. “That is why I am modifying my executive orders to ensure confinement is not a punishment for violating an order. This order is retroactive to April 2nd, supersedes local orders and if correctly applied should free Shelley Luther. It may also ensure that other Texans like Ana Isabel Castro-Garcia and Brenda Stephanie Mata who were arrested in Laredo, should not be subject to confinement. As some county judges advocate for releasing hardened criminals from jail to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is absurd to have these business owners take their place.”

Salons and barber shops are permitted to reopen at 25 percent capacity Friday. Shelley Luther reopened Salon a la Mode in North Dallas last week.

Dallas County Judge Eric Moye found her in contempt and ordered her to spend a week in jail.

The Dallas County Sheriff's Department says Luther will not be released immediately. In a statement, a spokesman wrote, "before she can be released, it needs to be ordered from the court."

Later Thursday morning, the Supreme Court of Texas issued an order granting her request for "emergency relief."

Luther's lawyer, Warren Norred, said he was meeting with her Thursday morning.

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