Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today urged the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Dallas to dismiss a lawsuit that seeks to release dangerous inmates from the Dallas County Jail, including killers, rapists, arsonists and armed robbers. The ACLU’s lawsuit, which seeks to upend Texas’s criminal justice system by indiscriminately releasing inmates into the local community, would violate state law and directly endanger Texans.  

“The health and safety of Texans is paramount during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we must maintain the requirements of our criminal justice system to protect our citizens,” said Attorney General Paxton. “The unlawful release of 5,000 potentially violent criminals would directly endanger Texans. A health crisis cannot be used as an excuse to override the rule of law.”   

In a similar case just three days ago, the Texas Supreme Court stopped an unlawful decision by a state district court in Travis County which would have blocked Gov. Abbott’s Executive Order GA-13 and allowed the release of violent inmates en masse. Yesterday, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Houston also denied temporary restraining orders and prevented the release of thousands of potentially dangerous inmates in Harris County, including those charged with violent crimes or who have a violent criminal history.  

Read a copy of the filing here.

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