Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Thursday retroactively eliminating jail time for citizens who violate the state’s stay-at-home rules, freeing salon owner Shelley Luther, who was jailed for seven days and fined $7,000 for reopening her business against court orders.
Abbott specifically named Luther in his announcement:
“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. 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 … 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.”
Shortly after Abbott’s announcement, the Supreme Court of Texas ordered Luther’s release.