Melissa Lucio: Court stays execution of Texas death row prisoner | Death Penalty News

Melissa Lucio has maintained her innocence since she was convicted of murdering her two-year-old daughter.

A court docket in Texas has granted a keep of execution for Melissa Lucio, who was convicted of murdering her two-year-old daughter, after new proof emerged.

Lucio was set to be executed by deadly injection on Wednesday, and would have develop into the primary Hispanic lady to be put to demise in Texas. Nevertheless, the appeals court docket on Monday granted a request by Lucio’s legal professionals to delay the execution so a decrease court docket can assessment her claims that new proof would exonerate her.

Prosecutors have maintained that Lucio abused her daughter, Mariah, resulting in her demise in 2007. Her legal professionals have maintained the kid died from accidents she sustained falling down a steep flight of stairs.

“I’m grateful the court docket has given me the possibility to stay and show my innocence,” Lucio stated in a press release supplied by the Innocence Venture, whose legal professionals are serving to defend her. “Mariah is in my coronary heart at present and all the time.”

The hassle to remain the execution has gained nationwide consideration and help from celebrities, in addition to a bipartisan coalition within the Texas legislature.

Lucio’s legal professionals have targeted on a confession they are saying was coerced and unreliable, the results of relentless questioning and her lengthy historical past of being sexually, bodily and emotionally abused.

They argue that Lucio was not allowed to current proof questioning the validity of her confession.

Her legal professionals additionally contend that unscientific and false proof misled jurors into believing Mariah’s accidents might have been triggered solely by abuse and never by medical issues from a extreme fall.

Lucio’s legal professionals have since introduced new proof from forensic consultants who argue the kid died from blunt-force trauma to her head that was according to accidents she might have sustained in falling down a flight of stairs two days earlier than her demise because the household was shifting.

“It will have shocked the general public’s conscience for Melissa to be put to demise primarily based on false and incomplete medical proof for against the law that by no means even occurred,” stated Vanessa Potkin, considered one of Lucio’s legal professionals with the Innocence Venture.

“All the new proof of her innocence has by no means earlier than been thought of by any court docket. The court docket’s keep permits us to proceed preventing alongside Melissa to overturn her wrongful conviction.”

Cameron County District Legal professional Luis Saenz, who was not in workplace when Lucio was tried, stated he welcomed “the chance to prosecute this case within the courtroom: the place witnesses testify below oath, the place witnesses could also be cross-examined, the place proof is ruled by the foundations of proof and legal process”.

In a earlier Texas Home committee listening to, Saenz had stated he disagreed with Lucio’s legal professionals’ claims that new proof would result in an exoneration.

In its three-page order, the appeals court docket requested that the trial court docket in Brownsville that dealt with Lucio’s case assessment 4 claims her legal professionals have made: whether or not prosecutors used false proof to convict her; whether or not beforehand unavailable scientific proof would have prevented her conviction; whether or not she is definitely harmless; and whether or not prosecutors suppressed proof that will have been beneficial to her defence.

It was not instantly clear when that assessment would start.

The execution keep was introduced minutes earlier than the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles had been set to contemplate Lucio’s clemency software to both commute her demise sentence or grant her a 120-day reprieve. The paroles board didn’t assessment her clemency petition due to the execution keep.

If the case have been to return again earlier than the board sooner or later, Lucio’s legal professionals must file a brand new petition.

Texas has far outpaced different US states within the variety of individuals executed since 1976, with 574 individuals put to demise by state authorities within the years since.

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