Thousands of criminals, including violent criminals, have been released from jails and prisons across the country to protect them from the coronavirus. Even a pedophile rapist was released from prison, in Massachusetts. But, a mother and small business owner in Dallas, Texas who reopened her hair salon in defiance of local shutdown orders, was sentenced to seven days in jail and ordered to pay a $7,000 fine.
In Tuesday afternoon’s hearing, Dallas Civil District Judge Eric Moyé also ordered her to pay thousands in fines for refusing to shut down her salon in violation of shelter-in-place orders.
Salon a la Mode owner Shelley Luther reopened Thursday, even though the state has required nonessential businesses to close in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that salons will be allowed to reopen Friday.
The judge heard testimony from a Dallas code inspector and a Dallas police officer who both testified they saw clients inside the salon getting haircuts and manicures over the last seven days despite Moyé’s rulings.
Luther was given the option to avoid jail time if she admitted she was “wrong” and “selfish” for opening up her business.
“Judge, I would like to say that I have much respect for this court and laws. And that I’ve never been in this position before, and it’s not someplace that I want to be. But, I have to disagree with you, sir, when you say that I’m selfish because feeding my kids is not selfish,” she said, defiantly. “I have hair stylists that are going hungry because they’d rather feed their kids. So, sir, so 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.”
A judge told Shelley Luther, the salon owner who opened her business in defiance of the governor's orders, that she had the option to avoid jail time if she admitted to the government she was "wrong" and "selfish" for opening.
Here is her response:pic.twitter.com/s5SM2XKYSq
— Sara Gonzales (@SaraGonzalesTX) May 5, 2020
It’s hard to imagine this kind of nonsense happening in America.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis