Texas to Stop Locking People Up Over Social Distancing Orders
Article from For Liberty by Norm Leahy.
In a small victory for a reasoned, proportional response to the coronavirus, the state of Texas will no longer imprison people convicted of violating state-mandated social distancing rules:
“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,” [Gov. Greg] Abbott, a Republican, said in a press release Thursday. “That is why I am modifying my executive orders to ensure confinement is not a punishment for violating an order.”
Dallas salon owner Shelley Luther was sentenced to seven days in prison for contempt of court after violating the state’s social distancing rules. Luther received a cease and desist letter on April 28 after Luther reopened the doors to her business, “Salon a la Mode.” Luther opened her doors anyway and resumed business – after publicly tearing up the cease and desist letter.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick paid Luther’s fine. But Luther was also fortunate her arrest, which the Texas Attorney General called a “political stunt” didn’t turn violent.
New York police and departments elsewhere are facing investigations into the violent arrests of alleged social distancing violators, the bulk of whom are minorities or residents of less affluent areas.
Image Credit: By Jamelle Bouie [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons