Texas Rejects Posthumous Pardon for George Floyd

Board first voted yes, then no after Abbott's office kicked recommendation back
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2022 2:26 PM CDT
Texas Doesn't Say Why Floyd Isn't Being Pardoned
Former Houston police officer Gerald Goines arrives at court in Houston in January 2020.   (Marie D. De Jes?s/Houston Chronicle via AP File)

Without giving a reason, Texas officials revealed their decision Thursday to not grant a posthumous pardon to George Floyd over a Houston drug conviction. The Board of Pardons and Paroles told the public defender who has represented Floyd in a letter, the Hill reports. A majority on the board opposed a pardon "after a full and careful review of the application and other information filed with the application," the letter said. The decision means Republican Gov. Greg Abbott won't have to make a final ruling on the matter.

Board members had unanimously voted to recommend a pardon in October 2021, then changed their minds in December because of procedural error in cases including Floyd's, Abbott's office said. Floyd, who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer in 2020, grew up in Houston. He was arrested there in 2004 in a drug sting, on suspicion of selling $10 worth of crack cocaine, per the AP. Floyd pleaded guilty and received a 10-month jail sentence. Some officials say the arresting officer, Gerald Goines, invented information in Floyd's arrest. Goines now faces trial on two murder counts in a 2019 drug raid.

Prosecutors have thrown out about 150 drug convictions involving Goines. The former officer's lawyer has said in the past that Floyd's conviction was legitimate. "We supported George Floyd's pardon because we do not have confidence in the integrity of his conviction," Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said Thursday. "We support clemency because it is appropriate." A pardon request can be made again in two years, the board's letter said. Members are appointed by the governor, per CNN. (Read more George Floyd stories.)

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