AUSTIN (Nexstar) — A Texas lady on death row will not die on Wednesday, soon after the Texas Courtroom of Felony Appeals issued a keep of Melissa Lucio’s execution, halting her execution indefinitely.
The court’s Monday get came just two days ahead of her scheduled loss of life, amid growing uncertainties about whether or not she was liable for the 2007 death of her daughter. Lucio was convicted of killing her 2-calendar year-previous daughter, Mariah, in Harlingen 15 decades back.
The situation for her innocence has garnered assistance from a bipartisan group of lawmakers, celebrities like Kim Kardashian, and even some jurors who now say they concern the sentence they gave her.
Prosecutors have continued their argument that Mariah was the target of abuse, noting her overall body was coated in bruises. The point out also argued Lucio had a historical past of drug abuse and, at situations, had shed custody of some of her 14 children. Lucio’s attorneys say new evidence shows Mariah’s injuries have been induced by a drop down a steep staircase
They also consider Lucio may perhaps have been coerced into confessing to the murder on the working day of her daughter’s loss of life. Her lawyers also contend that unscientific and phony proof misled jurors into believing Mariah’s injuries could have been triggered only by abuse and not by health-related problems from a intense fall.
The courtroom granted their request to pause the execution thanks to these uncertainties, making it possible for for a reduced court docket to examine her attorney’s claims that the new evidence will exonerate her.
“I am grateful the court docket has specified me the likelihood to dwell and establish my innocence,” Lucio mentioned in a assertion provided by her lawyers. “Mariah is in my coronary heart nowadays and constantly. I am grateful to have much more times to be a mother to my small children and a grandmother to my grandchildren. I will use my time to enable deliver them to Christ. I am deeply grateful to anyone who prayed for me and spoke out on my behalf.”
The execution continue to be was announced minutes in advance of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles experienced been set to think about Lucio’s clemency application to either commute her loss of life sentence or grant her a 120-working day reprieve.
Since the conviction, five of the 12 jurors have publicly stated if they had recognized about the new proof, they would not have sentenced her to demise.
“I was wrong to sentence Melissa. I pray it is not too late to proper the wrongs,” juror Johnny Galvan mentioned on April 12.
“It would have stunned the public’s conscience for Melissa to be place to loss of life dependent on bogus and incomplete clinical evidence for a criminal offense that never even occurred,” claimed Vanessa Potkin, 1 of Lucio’s lawyers who is with the Innocence Job. “All of the new evidence of her innocence has under no circumstances just before been regarded as by any court. The court’s keep will allow us to carry on battling along with Melissa to overturn her wrongful conviction.”
Lawmakers have rallied around Lucio, signing letters and inquiring the board of pardons and paroles to intervene in Lucio’s execution. Equally a supermajority in the Texas Household and a group of 20 Texas Senators have sent letters to the board.
“New proof that has emerged considering that Ms. Lucio’s demo details to the point that her daughter, Mariah, died immediately after a tragic accident and not by her mother’s arms,” explained the senators in their letter on April 14. “A commutation or a reprieve would give her attorneys the time they will need to acquire all the proof that could establish Ms. Lucio’s innocence.”
What is upcoming for Lucio?
Lucio will go back again to trial courtroom in Brownsville, in which new evidence will be introduced by Lucio’s lawyers. The court will make a recommendation to the Court of Criminal Appeals, which will in the long run choose if she’ll get a new trial.
For the initially time, the court docket will take into consideration no matter whether she should really have been convicted in the initial put. Lucio’s lawyers say that is exceptional. She is however technically on death row.
It was not promptly very clear which decreased court docket this scenario will go to.
The Associated Push contributed to this report.