HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Attorneys of Melissa Lucio have submitted an application for clemency to Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles Tuesday.
The 53-year-old Harlingen woman was arrested in 2007. Convicted of capital murder in 2008 after being found guilty of beating her two-year-old daughter to death.
Melissa Lucio is currently scheduled for execution with lethal injection on April 27, 2022.
According to a press release from Lucio’s lawyers, new evidence in the application that the jury never heard that Melissa, a victim of sexual abuse and domestic violence, was wrongly convicted and condemned to die for the accidental death of her daughter.
The application includes statements of seven nationally recognized experts, including scientists and forensic experts who have reviewed the evidence.
The experts concluded that Lucio’s conviction was based upon an unreliable “confession.” Revealing that the confession was a “regurgitation” of facts and words officers fed to her during a five-hour interrogation, stated the press release.
Additionally, experts revealed that unscientific and false evidence misled the jury into believing that Mariah must have been killed by physical abuse. However, evidence shows that Lucio’s daughter died from medical complications after a fall.
The application emphasizes documents that Melissa asserted her innocence more than 100 times over five hours of the coercive interrogation, according to the press release.
Lucio’s appeal also includes new forensic analyses, including declarations from four jurors stating they have concerns about evidence withheld from them at Melissa’s capital trial and would support relief, according to the press release.
An additional juror, an alternate who heard the evidence, but did not join deliberations, also submitted a declaration supporting relief for Melissa.
Hundreds of Texas anti-domestic violence groups, Baptist, Evangelical, and Catholic leaders, Latino organizations, exonerees of wrongful convictions, and Melissa’s children have also filed letters urging the Board and the Governor to grant Melissa clemency.
Based on a rush to judgement and a biased and inadequate death investigation, the State extracted an unreliable ‘confession’ and used false scientific evidence to convict Melissa Lucio of a crime she did not commit and in fact never occurred. What we know today is this: Mariah died from medical complications after an accidental fall. She was not murdered.Vanessa Potkin, Director of Special Litigation at the Innocence Project, and one of Melissa’s attorneys