A week ago, the Texas Supreme Court upheld Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s order to stop the release of potentially violent individuals from Harris County jails. Now, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed a Motion to Intervene in response to a federal lawsuit that seeks the release of inmates at the Dallas County jail. According to the press release the those released from the Dallas County jail would include numerous violent offenders charged with, or convicted of, such crimes as rape, murder, arson and robbery, among other offenses.


Paxton issued a press release in response to the federal lawsuit:


“Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today filed a motion to intervene into a federal lawsuit seeking to stop the release of inmates from the Dallas County Jail, including killers, rapists, arsonists and armed robbers. Releasing potentially thousands of persons arrested for, charged with, or previously convicted of violent criminal acts would directly endanger Texas citizens.


“We must continue to protect the health and safety of Texans and maintain the integrity of our criminal justice system by preventing the unlawful release of dangerous individuals,” said Attorney General Paxton. “The safety of Texans is imperative, especially during this time, and we cannot afford to ignore the need for justice in the midst of this health crisis.”


The lawsuit seeks to upend Texas’s criminal justice system by indiscriminately releasing inmates into the local community. Releasing such dangerous inmates would violate Texas law and long-established principles of criminal procedure.


In a similar case just two days ago, the Texas Supreme Court stopped an unlawful decision by a state district court in Travis County which would have blocked Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA 13 and allowed the release of inmates en masse.


For information on the spread or treatment of Coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit the Texas Department of State Health Services website.