Lucio’s attorneys say her capital murder conviction was based on an unreliable and coerced confession that was the result of relentless questioning and her long history of sexual, physical and emotional abuse. They say Lucio wasn’t allowed to present evidence questioning the validity of her confession.
Nearly half of the jurors who sentenced a Texas woman to die for the 2007 death of one of her 14 children have called for her upcoming execution to be halted and for her to get a new trial, AP reports.
Melissa Lucio, 52, is set to be executed Wednesday for the death of her 2-year-old daughter Mariah in Harlingen, a city of about 75,000 in Texas’ southern tip.
Her lawyers say new evidence shows that Mariah’s injuries, including a blow to the head, were caused by a fall down a steep staircase, and many lawmakers and celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, an advocate for criminal justice reform, and Amanda Knox — an American whose murder conviction in the death of a British student in Italy was overturned — have rallied to Lucio’s cause. Prosecutors, though, maintain that the girl was the victim of child abuse.
Lucio’s lawyers have filed various legal appeals seeking to stop her execution. She also has a clemency application before the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, which is set to consider her case Monday. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott could play a role in deciding Lucio’s fate. If put to death, Lucio would be the first Latina ever executed by Texas and the first woman the state has put to death since 2014.
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