Melissa Lucio is scheduled to be executed by Texas in lower than every week. Lots of people, together with politicians from each events, imagine she is harmless.
GATESVILLE, Texas — Time is operating out for Melissa Lucio, her family members and whole strangers who’re combating to save lots of her from the Texas execution chamber.
The South Texas mom of 11 is on loss of life row after she was convicted of killing her youngest daughter, Mariah, in 2007.
Lucio’s case has drawn consideration from politicians, celebrities, and the nationwide media after questions concerning the lack of proof and her trial cast doubt on her guilt. Five of the jurors who convicted Lucio have requested the state parole board and Gov. Greg Abbott to cease her execution.
SPECIAL REPORT: Melissa Lucio case and why so many imagine she is harmless
‘It’s been actually, actually arduous’
No one is combating tougher to save lots of her than Melissa’s kids. They have traveled the state to plead for mercy since her execution date was scheduled in January.
Oldest son John Lucio and his spouse, Michelle, made the all-too acquainted eight-hour drive to the Gatesville Unit Thursday morning to go to Melissa. He bought a little bit choked up when he spoke with reporters from the automobile.
“It’s been very emotional. I don’t even know the words,” John stated as they arrived in Gatesville. “Just being days away from April 27, it’s been really, really hard. It’s not gonna be the same as every other visit we’ve had. Every time we go there, I’ve hidden the pain. I hide it all, we can no longer hide it… we gotta let it out with her.”
The household is being allowed four-hour visits this week. Next week, they’re going to be capable to spend eight hours with Melissa every day.
“We’re really looking forward to seeing her,” Michelle stated. “It’s been a very emotional, you know, few months. But these last couple of days have been extremely more emotional.”
Michelle stated they recognize all of the love and assist.
“We’re really gonna enjoy these next few days that we’re gonna have to visit with her, so we’re praying, of course, for the best outcome. We appreciate everyone having them in their prayers. She does know about it. We let her know all the time.”
What occurred to Mariah Alavarez?
It was a February day, 15 years in the past, when the household of 2-year-old Mariah Alvarez known as 911 after the toddler was discovered unresponsive of their South Texas house.
Lucio and her kids informed police that Mariah, the youngest of 12 youngsters, had by accident fallen down the steps a few days earlier. But police suspected the kid had been killed after they discovered a number of bruises, scratches, and what seemed to be a chew mark on her physique. Mariah’s loss of life was later decided to be attributable to a blunt-force damage to the top.
Lucio, the primary suspect from the start, stood by her story throughout a prolonged, late-night interrogation the night time of her daughter’s loss of life and into the subsequent morning. Exhausted and pregnant with twins, Lucio broke down and admitted she had spanked and bitten Mariah.
“What do you want me to say? I’m responsible for it,” Lucio stated when a Texas Ranger pushed her on the obvious chew mark on Mariah’s again, according to the Texas Tribune. Her supporters imagine her confession of abuse was coerced.
Lucio by no means confessed to killing her daughter or inflicting her head damage, however the different admissions led police and prosecutors to cost her with capital homicide.
Jurors have change of coronary heart
Juror Johnny Galvan Jr. testified at a current listening to to name for a brand new trial.
“I am now convinced that the jury got it wrong, and it’s too much doubt to execute Ms. Lucio,” Galvan stated. “If I could take back my vote, I would. I would be haunted by Ms. Lucio’s execution if it goes forward.”
Galvan additionally stated he felt pressured by different jurors to condemn Lucio.
Jury forewoman Melissa Quintanilla has additionally had a change of coronary heart.
“The trial left me thinking Melissa Lucio was a monster, but now I see her as a human being who was made to seem evil because I didn’t have all the evidence I needed to make that decision,” Quintanilla stated in an affidavit to the parole board. “Ms. Lucio deserves a new trial and for a new jury to hear this evidence.”
Lucio gave delivery to twins in a jail hospital and was compelled to provide them up for adoption.
Bipartisan supporters in Texas legislature strain prosecutor
Democrats and Republicans within the Texas Legislature do not agree on a lot as of late, however lawmakers from each side of the aisle imagine Lucio’s execution needs to be halted. In truth, there is a bipartisan effort to grant clemency to the girl who’s scheduled to change into the first-ever Latina executed by Texas.
The present Cameron County prosecutor, who set Lucio’s execution date, has been beneath strain to intervene.
District Attorney Luis Saenz has the choice to withdraw his request to set the execution date. Until final week, Saenz insisted that he stood by the method that led to Lucio’s conviction.
But after listening to from lawmakers on each side of the aisle throughout the emotional listening to in Austin, Saenz relented. If the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals or Abbott would not cease the execution, he stated he would withdraw his request.
“If defendant Lucio doesn’t get a keep by a sure day, then I’ll do what I’ve to do and cease it,” Saenz stated.
‘I do know she’s harmless’
Lucio’s kids, siblings, and mom will proceed working tirelessly to shine the highlight on her case.
“I mean, I believe God is the one that’s pushing me. I mean, I’m running on fumes,” John Lucio told KHOU 11 News reporter Melissa Correa after testifying on the listening to final week.
John, who was 15 when his youngest sister died, believes his mom is harmless — not solely of inflicting Mariah’s loss of life however of abusing her.
“I know she’s innocent,” John stated. “My mother was a woman that lacked discipline in our family, which we very much needed. She didn’t know what discipline was. We were spoiled kids. She was not a woman of abuse.”
John stated his mom’s protection lawyer did a poor job and believes there was corruption concerned in her case.
“I mean, if we had the money, my mother wouldn’t be on death row,” John stated.
He stated his mom, who will get dozens of letters of assist every day from all around the world, is praying for her supporters and needs she might reply to all of them.
As the clock ticks towards April 27, Lucio and are family members are praying that the folks in energy are paying consideration and can take motion earlier than it is too late.