Top Texas officials denounce Dallas salon owner’s jail sentence for defying orders to close

Texas Tribune

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton said the seven-day jail sentence was excessive. Paxton called for her immediate release.

Salon owner Shelley Luther holds a citation and speaks with a Dallas police officer after she was cited for reopening her Salon A la Mode in Dallas, Friday, April 24, 2020. Hair salons have not been cleared for reopening in Texas. Luther was asked by officials to close and was issued a citation when she refused. Luther said she will remain open for business. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Top Texas officials denounce Dallas salon owner’s jail sentence for defying orders to close” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton on Wednesday said the seven-day jail sentence a Dallas salon owner received for defying orders to keep her business closed was excessive — and Paxton called for her immediate release.


“I find it outrageous and out of touch that during this national pandemic, a judge, in a county that actually released hardened criminals for fear of contracting COVID-19, would jail a mother for operating her hair salon in an attempt to put food on her family’s table,” Paxton said in a statement Wednesday, calling state district Judge Eric Moyé’s order to to jail and fine Shelley Luther “a shameful abuse of judicial discretion.”


Paxton wrote a letter to Moyé demanding he immediately release Luther. Soon after, Abbott issued a statement saying he disagreed “with the excessive action” by the judge.


“As I have made clear through prior pronouncements, jailing Texans for non-compliance with executive orders should always be the last available option,” Abbott said. “Compliance with executive orders during this pandemic is important to ensure public safety; however, surely there are less restrictive means to achieving that goal than jailing a Texas mother.”


This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2020/05/06/texas-dallas-salon-owner-jailed-greg-abbott-ken-paxton/.


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