Texas, a state where they fight to the death for life, but hand out death on a silver platter.

Melissa Lucio, pictured in Blue.
Melissa Lucio Pictured in Blue.

I’ve been up since 5:00 AM trying to research as much as I can about this case hearing from all sorts of biased news sources and companies either stating for fact that Melissa Lucio is innocent or Melissa Lucio is guilty. I wanted to come to a conclusion on my own, making sure the sources that I found were reputable and unbiased. That is when I landed on the Houston Chronicle. I will attach the articles that I found my research at the end, if you are interested in reading them, please note a subscription is needed OR if you dm me I can send you the screen recordings of each article.

Melissa Lucio is spending her last few days of her 15 years on death row awaiting her execution for the murder in the death of her 2 year old daughter, Mariah. Which many family members claim her death was an accident.

Melissa Lucio is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on April 27, 2022

Here are the facts that I found:

*Note, most these facts I’ve paraphrased, but I’ve quoted the article they come from. Direct quotes will be in quotations*

Article 1: 9 things to know about Melissa Lucio, the Texas mom who could be first Latina executed in modern era, by Rebecca Hennes

  • If Melissa Lucio is not granted a stay of execution, she will be the the first Latina woman to be sentenced to death in our lifetime. (Hennes, Rebecca-9 things to know…)
  • Melissa endured a mountain full of violence, sexual abuse, poverty and addiction throughout her lifetime and was visited frequently by Child Protective Services to offer her support in caring for her 14 children. All of the decades worth of child protective services documented visits claim that Lucio was never harmful to her children. (Hennes, Rebecca- 9 things to know…)
  • The Jury at Lucio’s capital murder trial never heard her background as a victim of sexual and domestic abuse who faced everything she had (Hennes, Rebecca- 9 things to know)
  • “Lucio’s family states that Mariah fell down a rickety flight of stairs outside their apartment in 2007 while their family was in the process of moving and 2 days later she died in her sleep.” (Hennes, Rebecca- 9 things to know)
  • Mariah’s death was officially ruled as a homicide, saying that her bruising consisted of the “worst case of child abuse she had ever seen”. (Hennes, Rebecca- 9 things to know)
  • During the evening of Mariah’s death, she was questioned by investigators for an extended amount of time while pregnant with twins. It was during this time that her lawyers say police coerced her into giving a false confession of which was used to build a case against her. (Hennes, Rebecca- 9 things to know)
  • New evidence has emerged, including a new clemency petition with evidence to prove her innocence. “Included in that petition are statements by five jurors at her capital murder trial who said they would have decided differently if they had known about Lucio’s personal history or seen other evidence that was not presented at trial” along with forensic evidence that states, “Mariah’s bruising was likely caused by head trauma she sustained when she fell down the stairs…the medical examiners ruling that the girl died as a result of child abuse was a rush to judgement”. (Hennes, Rebecca- 9 things to know)
  • There is a plethora of evidence that has yet to be gone through and many supporters as well as her lawyers argue that her trial was unfair and “influenced by bigotry and corruption from both sides of the courtroom, including the case brought by a DA who was later sentenced to prison” (Hennes, Rebecca- 9 things to know)

What is the verdict instead of death?

  • “Lucio’s lawyers have requested her death sentence be commuted to life in prison Or that she be granted an evidentiary hearing and a chance to prove her innocence. Her lawyers say it’s typical for the board not to decide about a clemency petition until just days before a person is set to be executed. Gov. Abbott also has the authority to stop Lucio’s execution. He could grant her clemency and reduce her sentence. Her third and final option is for Cameron County District Attorney Saenz to withdraw her death warrant and reinvestigate the case.” (Hennes, Rebecca- 9 things to know)

Article 2: I voted to sentence Melissa Lucio to death. I was wrong, by Johnny Galvan Jr.

PLEASE NOTE: This article was written by a man on the Jury that sentenced Melissa Lucio to death for the alleged murder of her 2 year old daughter Mariah.

I encourage you to read this article word for word- the key points I have listed here do not do it justice. Again, dm me if you want a screen recording of the article

  • “At the defense trial when Lucio’s defense lawyers were hardly making a case for her life, I did not want to sentence her to death. I felt pressured by my fellow jurors to vote for a death sentence, but I wish I had never done so.“ (Galvan Jr., Johnny- I voted to sentence…)
  • “The majority of their prosecution rested on Lucio’s confession, the result of five hours of interrogation. But there were so many details that went unmentioned. It wasn’t til after the trial was over that troubling information was brought to light.” (Galvan Jr., Johnny- I voted to sentence…)
  • “I did not know that her long history of physical and sexual abuse made her vulnerable to confess when subjected to aggressive interrogation tactics on the night of her daughters death. No one took us through the interrogation to show us how many times she asserted her innocence (over 100) or how she repeated the same words the interrogators fed to her. No evidence was presented of that and it would have mattered to me” (Galvan Jr., Johnny- I voted to sentence…)
  • “I was led to believe that the medical examiner had scientific proof of abuse. We jurors did not know there was another medical explanation for the baby’s bruises, that experts couldn’t say for sure that she had a bite mark on her back, or that she could have broken her arm in a fall or roughhousing with her brothers and sisters. We were told it was clear Lucio did those things. It would’ve mattered to have heard from an eye witness about the child’s fall down the stairs. One of Mariah’s siblings saw her fall but was never called to testify. I have also learned since the trial that the district attorney who prosecuted her was corrupt. He is serving a prison sentence now. That only adds to my belief that our decision in Lucio’s case was wrong.” (Galvan Jr. Johnny- I voted to sentence…)
  • “I am joining several of my fellow jurors in calling for a new trial. We are not alone. Last month, a bipartisan group of more than 80 Texas state representatives signed a letter in support of clemency for Lucio. I am now convinced that the jury got it wrong and I know that there is too much doubt to execute Lucio. If I could take back my vote, I would.” (Galvan Jr., Johnny- I voted to sentence…)

Important fact from the Innocence Project: the DA that prosecuted Melissa in her , Armando Villalobos, is now serving a 13 year federal prison sentence for bribery and extortion.

If you believe Melissa is innocent, this is how to help:

  • Call Gov. Abbott and District Attorney Saenz and urge them to withdraw the execution date/grant clemency.
  • Add your name to the petition to grant Melissa clemency. If you share it, it is bound to get attention and more people can hear.
  • Share with others, and keep sharing.

THE INNOCENCE PROJECT: https://innocenceproject.org/petitions/stop-execution-of-innocent-melissa-lucio-texas/

Other Important, Unbiased, and Factual Reads:

How Melissa Lucio went from Abuse Survivor to Death Row

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2022/02/24/how-melissa-lucio-went-from-abuse-survivor-to-death-row

Works Cited

Chammah, Maurice. “How Melissa Lucio Went from Abuse Survivor to Death Row.” The Marshall Project, The Marshall Project, 24 Feb. 2022, https://www.themarshallproject.org/2022/02/24/how-melissa-lucio-went-from-abuse-survivor-to-death-row.

Galvan, Johnny. “Opinion: I Voted to Sentence Melissa Lucio to Death. I Was Wrong.” Houston Chronicle, Houston Chronicle, 13 Apr. 2022, https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Opinion-I-voted-to-sentence-Melissa-Lucio-to-17051437.php.

Hennes, Rebecca. “9 Things to Know about Melissa Lucio, the Texas Mom Who Could Be First Latina Executed in Modern Era.” Houston Chronicle, Houston Chronicle, 7 Apr. 2022, https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/crime/article/Melissa-Lucio-execution-things-to-know-17063741.php.

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Shelbie

Shelbie

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Just your friendly neighborhood songwriter who writes in her free time //📍Denver, Colorado // Listen to my music on all streaming platforms @ shelbie