Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Ken Paxton have called for the release of a Dallas salon owner who was jailed for keeping her business open.

“Feeding My Kids Is Not Selfish”

Shelley Luther was sentenced to a week in jail for continuing to operate the salon after ripping up a cease and desist letter issued by Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins that was sent to her on April 24th. Luther had violated the Stay Home, Work Safe orders issued by Governor Greg Abbott during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a hearing on Tuesday, Luther was defiant when a judge told her to apologize for keeping Salon A La Mode open.

“Feeding my kids is not selfish,” Luther told District Judge Eric Moyé. “If you think the law is more important than kids getting fed, then please go ahead with your decision, but I am not going to shut the salon.”

Ken Patton, the Texas Attorney General, said in a statement that he felt the arrest of Luther was nothing more than a “political stunt”:

I find it outrageous and out of touch that during this national pandemic, a judge, in a county that actually released hardened criminals for fear of contracting COVID-19, would jail a mother for operating her hair salon in an attempt to put food on her family’s table. The trial judge did not need to lock up Shelley Luther. His order is a shameful abuse of judicial discretion, which seems like another political stunt in Dallas. He should release Ms. Luther immediately.

This was echoed by Governor Greg Abbott himself, despite him issuing the order.

“I join the Attorney General in disagreeing with the excessive action by the Dallas Judge, putting Shelley Luther in jail for seven days. As I have made clear through prior pronouncements, jailing Texans for non-compliance with executive orders should always be the last available option,” Abbott said. “Compliance with executive orders during this pandemic is important to ensure public safety; however, surely there are less restrictive means to achieving that goal than jailing a Texas mother.”

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Texas Is A Common Sense State!

Given that Abbott has announced that nail and hair salons and barbershops will be allowed to open from Friday across Texas, albeit following social distancing guidelines, I completely agree with the Governor and Attorney General. A jail sentence is completely unnecessary, especially given that jails across the country have been letting dangerous prisoners go during the coronavirus outbreak.

I’m glad to see that Texas has at least got some people with a little bit of common sense in charge, unlike some other states.