Governor Greg Abbott was in Houston Monday to sign a bill aimed at reforming Texas’ bail system. Senate Bill 6, also called the Damon Allen Act, eliminates PR bonds for violent offenses, which is when a suspect does not have to put up any cash to get out of jail. It also requires defendants be granted and denied bail within 48 hours of their arrest and the person’s criminal history be examined before setting bail.
The law is named after a state trooper who was killed on Thanksgiving in 2017 during a traffic stop. The gunman, Dabrett Black, who had a history of violence against law enforcement, was out on bond for other crimes. He had an active warrant out for his arrest at the time of the traffic stop.
During Monday’s press conference, Abbott said, “The magistrate who was considering bail for the person who killed Damon Allen did not have access to the criminal history that could have kept him behind bars.” Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Rep. Reggie Smith, R-Van Alstyne, and Kasey Allen, the trooper’s widow, all joined Abbott at the signing.