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Gov. Abbott says Texans cannot go to jail for violating shutdown orders

As statewide restrictions are loosening
May 7, 2020 – 11:00 AM EDT

Governor Greg Abbott just said that he will not allow any one to go to jail for any violation of the shutdown orders that are aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.

"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 Abbott.

A Dallas-Fort Worth area salon owner was placed in jail for seven days for keeping her business open for customers during the state-mandated shutdown. Shelly Luther refused to apologize in court for keeping her business open.

Abbott said that he doesn't support any punishment of any kind and Thursday modified his executive order to eliminate confinement as a punishment for order violations.

"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," he said.

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