A Dallas salon owner who broke a lockdown order to open her business was ordered released from prison on Thursday.
“Texas Supreme Court orders Shelley Luther, imprisoned for contempt for violating order to close her Dallas salon, RELEASED from prison,” posted Austin American-Statesman reporter Chuck Lindell.
“Release from JAIL ordered under request for emergency relief while Supreme Court considers Luther’s petition,” he reported. “Response due by 4 p.m. Monday.”
Release from JAIL ordered under request for emergency relief while Supreme Court considers Luther's petition. Response due by 4 p.m. Monday.
— Chuck Lindell (@chucklindell) May 7, 2020
Luther was sentenced Tuesday to a week in jail and a $7,000 fine for opening her salon in defiance of state orders, The Daily Wire reported.
The salon owner gained national attention when she gave Dallas Judge Eric Moye a poignant message after he accused her of being “selfish” for opening her salon in defiance of the stay-at-home order.
“Judge, I would like to say that I have much respect for this court and laws and that I have never been in this position before and it’s not someplace that I want to be,” Luther said. “But I have to disagree with you, sir, when you say that I’m selfish because feeding my kids — is not selfish.”
“I have hair stylists that are going hungry because they’d rather feed their kids,” she continued. “So, sir, 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.”
Warren Norred, a lawyer representing Luther, said her client was “unlawfully arrested and jailed.”
“I’m concerned that the judicial system in Dallas is more concerned for one perspective on the rule of law than it is the plight of working people trying to make a living,” Norred said, as noted by The Daily Wire. “Though the rule of law is cited by the court, there exists no exception for cities to the general rule that an injunction must be supported by a bond. Without an enforceable injunction, no contempt can be found. Our position is that Ms. Luther has been unlawfully arrested and jailed. I hope to obtain a writ of habeas corpus very soon. ”
Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick reacted to Luther’s situation on Wednesday, announcing he’d pay the $7,000 fine and would volunteer to serve her 7-day jail sentence.
“7 days in jail, no bail and a $7K fine is outrageous,” he posted via Twitter. “No surprise Texans are responding. I’m covering the $7K fine she had to pay and I volunteer to be placed under House Arrest so she can go to work and feed her kids.”
7 days in jail, no bail and a $7K fine is outrageous. No surprise Texans are responding. I’m covering the $7K fine she had to pay and I volunteer to be placed under House Arrest so she can go to work and feed her kids. #txlege #TexansHelpingTexans https://t.co/gdtMLAHFV5
— Dan Patrick (@DanPatrick) May 6, 2020
Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) on Wednesday also ripped the actions taken against Luther. “I join the Attorney General in disagreeing with the excessive action by the Dallas Judge, putting Shelley Luther in jail for seven days,” he said in a statement. “As I have made clear through prior pronouncements, jailing Texans for non-compliance with executive orders should always be the last available option. 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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