Pardons Recommended in Tulia Drug Cases - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/30/03

Pardons Recommended in Tulia Drug Cases

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has recommended pardons for 35 people convicted in the 1999 Tulia drug busts.

The convictions came on the word of an undercover agent who's since been discredited. Board Chairman Gerald Garrett told The Associated Press that the final decision rests with Governor Rick Perry. A spokeswoman says Perry will rule on the recommendation in about one month, after attorneys in his office review the cases.

In May, Perry asked the parole board to review the convictions obtained through the work of lone undercover agent Tom Coleman, who's white. Most of the people arrested in the bust are black. Coleman faces perjury charges and has a September 25th pretrial hearing.

A judge has recommended the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturn the convictions. A special prosecutor says there will be no new trials.

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