Melissa Lucio execution latest: Texas lawmakers visit death row and pray with inmate, pledging to save her

Efforts underway to commute, delay mother’s scheduled execution

There are growing calls on Texas Governor Greg Abbot to grant clemency to Melissa Lucio who faces execution later this month. A juror, Kim Kardashian, and a bipartisan group of lawmakers are among those pleading for Lucio’s life.

The 53-year-old domestic violence victim and mother of 14 has been on death row since her trial over the 2007 death of her two-year-old daughter.

Her lawyers argue she “falsely” admitted to killing Mariah after hours of intense police questioning and that she died from falling down a steep staircase outside their apartment in Harlingen, South Texas, and not from being beaten.

Lucio was worn down by her grief and being abused throughout her life during the aggressive interrogation and finally admitted to a crime she didn’t commit, her lawyers say.

On October 18, the US Supreme Court denied a petition to hear Lucio’s case, paving the way for the state of Texas to set the date for her execution — to be carried out by lethal injection on April 27.

writing for The Independentan expert in false confessions says Texas is executing an innocent woman in one of the most tragic cases they have seen in their career.

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My mother is not a monster, says Melissa Lucio’s eldest son John

My mother is not a monster, says eldest son JohnMelissa Lucio’s eldest son John says his main fight right now is to stop April 27 – the date for her mother’s execution, from arriving.“I go to sleep thinking about it. I wake up thinking about it,” an emotional Mr Lucio told WFAA.

“The picture they had of my mom was that she was a monster, not the mother,” he added.

According to Mr Lucio, nearly 90 lawmakers across the party line have appealed to the governor for granting clemency.“The picture they had of my mom was that she was a monster, not the mother,” Mr Lucio said.

Alisha Rahaman SarkarApr 8, 2022 06:18

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Breaking society’s expectations: Why some women end up on death row

Women are vastly outnumbered by men on death row across America. But experts say the small number who are sentenced to death usually break society’s expectations of a ‘good woman’. Melissa Lucio is one of them as Rachel Sharp explains.

Oliver O’ConnellApril 8, 2022 04:59

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Juror says he was wrong to succumb to peer pressure over death penalty

One of the jurors who sentenced Melissa Lucio to death has written a newspaper editorial claiming he was misled and pressured during the mother’s trial for murdering her two-year-old daughter.

Johnny Galvan Jr wrote in The Houston Chronicle that he was wrong to succumb to “peer pressure” and change his vote from a life sentence to the death penalty, or they’d “be there all day” if he didn’t.

Oliver O’ConnellApr 8, 2022 03:30 am

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Oliver O’ConnellApril 8, 2022 03:00 am

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What you need to know about the Melissa Lucio case

Melissa Lucio was sentenced to death in 2008 after being convicted of killing her two-year-old daughter Mariah the year before. Her lawyers argue a confession was given under duress and she says herself that she did not do it, and has aksed Governor Greg Abbott for clemency with her execution date less than a month away.

Rachel Sharp reports on the case for The Independent

Oliver O’ConnellApril 8, 2022 02:00

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Oliver O’ConnellApril 8, 2022 01:00

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What do Melissa Lucio’s lawyers say led to her ‘false’ confession?

Lucio, 53, would be the first Latina executed by Texas and the first woman since 2014. Only 17 women have been executed in the US since the Supreme Court lifted its ban on the death penalty in 1976, most recently in January 2021.

In their clemency petition, Lucio’s lawyers say that while she had used drugs, leading her to temporarily lose custody of her children, she was a loving mother who worked to remain drug-free and provide for her family. Lucio has 14 children and was pregnant with the youngest two when Mariah died.

Lucio and her children struggled through poverty. At times, they were homeless and relied on food banks for meals, according to the petition. Child Protective Services was present in the family’s life, but there was never an accusation of abuse by any of her children, according to Vanessa Potkin, one of Lucio’s attorneys who is with the Innocence Project.

Lucio had been sexually assaulted multiple times, starting at age six, and had been physically and emotionally abused by two husbands. Her lawyers say this lifelong trauma made her susceptible to giving a false confession.

In the 2020 documentary The State of Texas vs. MelissaLucio said investigators kept pushing her to say she had hurt Mariah.

“I wasn’t gonna admit to causing her death because I wasn’t responsible,” Lucio said.

Oliver O’ConnellApril 8, 2022 00:30

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Oliver O’ConnellApril 8, 2022 00:00

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Texas lawmakers meet and pray with Lucio, pledging to help save her life

A bipartisan group of Texas lawmakers visited Melissa Lucio on death row as part of an effort to top her execution amid doubts about whether she fatally beat her two-year-old daughter.

State Representatives Jeff Leach, a Republican, and Joe Moody, a Democrat, led the group on Wednesday to the Mountain View Unit in Gatesville, Texas, where the state houses women on death row.

Oliver O’ConnellApril 7, 2022 23:30

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Kim Kardashian shares ‘heartbreaking’ letter by Melissa Lucio’s children

Kim Kardashian has shared a letter from Melissa Lucio’s children, as calls are mounting for Lucio’s planned execution in Texas to be stopped.

“So heartbreaking to read this letter from Melissa Lucio’s children begging for the state not to kill their mother,” Kardashian tweeted on Thursday (April 7) along with the letter.

“There are so many unresolved questions surrounding this case and the evidence that was used to convict her.”

Clemence Michallon has the story.

Oliver O’ConnellApril 7, 2022 22:30

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