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Texas Court Of Criminal Appeals Grants Stay Of Execution For Melissa Lucio

texas death row melissa lucio

State Rep. Jeff Leach called Lucio to deliver the news, and she immediately sobbed on the phone, realizing she wouldn’t be executed this week, according to an audio of the conversation obtained by CNN.
“Oh, thank you God,” Lucio said — barely able to speak through her tears — after receiving the news from Leach.
Lucio, her family, advocates and attorneys say she was wrongfully convicted of capital murder in the 2007 death of her toddler Mariah.

Lucio claims she was unfairly convicted of capital murder in the 2007 death of her baby Mariah, according to her family, advocates, and attorneys.

Bobby Alvarez, Lucio’s son, said the family is now looking forward to Mother’s Day.

During the trial, prosecutors claimed Lucio was an abusive mother who was responsible for her daughter’s death. Mariah’s injuries, according to Lucio and her counsel, were caused by a fall down a stairway outside the family’s second-floor apartment two days before she died, not by mistreatment.

The appellate court directed the trial court to evaluate four of the nine arguments Lucio made in her habeas petition, including her claims that she is innocent and that fresh scientific evidence prohibits her conviction.

Lucio also claimed that the state fabricated evidence and concealed evidence that was advantageous to her defense.

According to her legal team, Lucio will remain on execution row notwithstanding the postponement.

Lucio’s execution has been postponed while the trial court evaluates the merits of her petitions.

The trial court in Brownsville, according to Lucio’s counsel, will hold sessions to hear proof of Lucio’s innocence. Tivon Schardl, one of Lucio’s attorneys, said during a virtual news conference Monday that the court would next make a recommendation to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, which would finally decide whether Lucio should have a new trial.

Lucio’s family attended the news conference and expressed gratitude to her legal team.

Separately, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles rejected to recommend clemency in Lucio’s case on Monday, citing the stay of execution as a reason.

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