Melissa Lucio Has Been Sentenced to Death and Will Be Executed on April 27, 2022.

melissa lucio petition

Melissa Lucio is a 53-year-old Hispanic woman (Mexican American born in the United States). She was born in Harlingen, Texas, in Cameron County, in the Rio Grande Valley, about 30 minutes from the Mexican border. She is a Christian mother of 14 children who has spent 14 years on death row in Gatesville, Texas.

In 2007, she was arrested after the police discovered the bruised body of her 2-year-old daughter Mariah, who had died of blunt head trauma.

After a pressured interview that lasted 7 hours (until 3 a.m.) and was done without the assistance of a lawyer, the police instantly suspected Melissa. In the end, she conceded that she was responsible for the bruises but claimed she was innocent and that she did not murder the child, as she continues to claim today.

melissa lucio petition

There were no investigations, no evidence, and no witnesses heard at the trial. Melissa was represented by a group of dishonest lawyers who were unable to appropriately defend her. The lawyer opted not to utilize one of his daughters’ admission that she was responsible for Mariah’s fall down the stairs that day during the trial, even though it may have likely exonerated Melissa from the murder accusation and shown her innocence

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During the trial, District Attorney Armando Villalobos Refused to Consider the Following Facts

Melissa’s children insisted that their mother was not abusive, but they were not allowed to testify, even though two of the youngest children said in filmed interviews that they saw their sister tumble down a flight of stairs. Melissa’s counsel, on the other hand, did not bring this up during the trial.

– She had no prior criminal record, had never been arrested, and had no prior violent history.

So, in 2008, Melissa was sentenced to death without concrete proof or witnesses, but only for imputed guilt, thanks to an inadequate defense and a crooked court.

Because she didn’t have a fair trial, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in Texas overturned her conviction in 2019. The state of Texas challenged the decision, and in 2021, a splintered court overturned her conviction and sentenced her to death once more. Her execution date has been set for the end of January 2022.

The case has received international attention, and an advocacy movement to preserve her life has been growing since 2020, thanks in part to the production of “The State of Texas vs. Melissa,” a commercially available video by Sabrina Van Tassel.

Melissa Lucio’s Statement Is as Follows

“I am grateful to God for my life.” I’ve always had faith in Him. I am thankful that the court has allowed me to live and prove my innocence. Mariah will always have a special place in my heart. I am grateful for the opportunity to spend more time with my children and grandchildren. I’ll devote my time to assisting people in coming to faith in Jesus Christ. “I am eternally grateful to everyone who prayed for me and spoke up for me.” April 25th, 2022, Melissa Lucio

melissa lucio petition

Vanessa Potkin, the Innocence Project’s director of special litigation and one of Ms. Lucio’s attorneys, issued the following statement:

“By halting Melissa’s execution, the Court of Criminal Appeals did the right thing.” Mariah’s death appears to have been caused by an accident, according to medical findings. Because no murder occurred, no juror would have voted to convict Melissa of capital murder if the State had not used fraudulent testimony.

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Prof. Sandra Babcock, Head of The Cornell Center on The Death Penalty Worldwide and One of Ms. Lucio’s Attorneys, Issued the Following Statement

“Melissa’s life is important. Melissa will be able to present proof of her innocence that should have been heard by the jury that sentenced her to death 14 years ago, thanks to the court’s decision. Melissa’s voice and experiences have never been valued as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and intimate relationship violence, and she has been locked away for the past 15 years. The court’s decision indicates that it is ready to hear Melissa’s version of the story. We are convinced Melissa will be reunited with her family if the district court hears all of the evidence of her innocence, as well as the gender bias that pervaded the police investigation and prosecution.”

April 25, 2022, —Professor Sandra Babcock, head of the Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide

The Court’s Stay Order in the Matter of a Post-Conviction and Habeas Petition can be seen here.

The First Subsequent Application for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by Melissa Lucio can be seen here:

“It would have outraged the public conscience if Melissa had been executed for a crime that never occurred based on fraudulent and incomplete medical evidence.” No court has ever reviewed all of the fresh evidence proving her innocence. We can continue to battle alongside Melissa to overturn her erroneous conviction thanks to the court’s stay.”

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