Governor Greg Abbott has modified his executive orders related to COVID-19 to eliminate confinement as a punishment for violating these orders. These modifications are being applied retroactively.
“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.”
Shelley Luther, owner of salon A La Mode, started a seven-day stretch in Dallas County Jail on Tuesday. One of the well-wishers who dropped by the salon was former GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Paxton sent a letter to Judge Eric Moye, saying he had "abused his authority" in the case. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick had said he would pay the fines the judge imposed on Luther.