A woman jailed in Dallas for opening up her business so she can keep people employed and ‘feed their kids’ has been ordered freed by the Texas Supreme Court.
Shelly Luther, owner of Salon Á la Mode, became something of a working woman’s hero when she refused to apologize before a judge who lectured her about seeing the error of her ways.
The apology presumably would have spared her jail time.
“I have hairstylists that are going hungry because they’d rather feed their kids,” she added. “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.”
The judge told Shelley Luther she
could avoid jail time if she apologized, admitted she was wrong, and agreed to close her hair salon until it was allowed to open.
— Andrea Lucia (@CBS11Andrea) May 5, 2020
Texas Supreme Court Steps In
Having offered her a chance to apologize and being rebuked, Judge Eric Moyé, a Democrat, ordered Luther to prison for 7 days. Governor Greg Abbott expressed outrage at the judge’s decision.
“I join the Attorney General in disagreeing with the excessive action by the Dallas Judge, putting Shelley Luther in jail for seven days,” Abbott 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,” he continued. “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.”
Abbott also mentioned other cases that involved the threat of jail time for not wearing masks.
“They were issuing fines and potential jail time for anybody who refused to wear a mask,” Abbott told Fox News host Sean Hannity.
“Wearing a mask is the best practice,” he said. “However, no one should forfeit their liberty and be sent to jail for not wearing a mask.”
The Texas Supreme Court on Thursday, thankfully, ordered Luther released from prison.
The Supreme Court of Texas has ordered Shelley Luther be released from Dallas County jail! pic.twitter.com/lU7KHzJPGi
— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) May 7, 2020
Abbott: I Will Not Allow It to Happen
The order by the Texas Supreme Court comes after Abbott modified his executive orders so that Texans can’t be jailed for violation of the state’s Stay Home Order.
He removed confinement as a punishment and made it retroactive to April 2nd.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 6, 2020
“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,” Abbott declared in a statement.
He added, “Criminals shouldn’t be released to prevent COVID-19 just to put business owners in their place.”