A bipartisan group of Texas lawmakers has come out in support of a mother on death row for killing her daughter and asked that the woman’s execution be postponed or canceled based on “new evidence.”
Texas lawmakers of 83 signed a letter in support of Melissa Lucio, who is scheduled to be executed on April 27 for the death of her infant daughter by lethal injection, according to the Texas Department of Justice.
Two-year-old girl Mariah died of blunt force trauma in 2007, reports the Texas Tribune.
Lucio was questioned by police after investigators discovered a bite mark, scratches and bruises on the girl’s body.
During police questioning, Lucio admitted to biting and beating Mariah. Cameron County prosecutors used that statement to seek a conviction, though the mother of 14 insisted the death was an accident.
In their letter, 83 Republican and Democratic members of the Texas House of Representatives asked the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to review “new evidence” showing no crime was ever committed.
“Mariah died after a tragic accident and not a premeditated capital murder,” the letter said, without specifying the new evidence. “MS. Lucio’s case is one that troubles even the most pro-death penalty proponents among us.”
The Innocence Project of Texas, part of Lucio’s defense team, alleges that Mariah fell down the stairs at the family’s Harlingen, Texas home a few days before her death.
Lawmakers cite the disparities in sentencing between Lucio and her husband, who also went to prison after Mariah’s death.
“Unlike Ms. Lucio, who had no documented history of violence against her children, her husband had a history of violent behavior but is now a free man after serving a four-year sentence for child endangerment,” the politicians write .
According to the Texas Tribune, Lucio’s remaining children, including twins, born while she was incarcerated, were sent to live with relatives or placed in child protection facilities. One of her sons spoke at a rally in Austin over the weekend, asking for clemency.
“She’s a great mother. She’s not a perfect mother. We all have imperfections. Half of me thinks she’s already saved, but then there’s the other half that’s still scary,” their son, John, told KXAN.
If the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles agrees to a stay of execution or some other punishment, it would still be up to Gov. Greg Abbott to accept the recommendation. The governor can delay an execution for 30 days without a recommendation from the parole board.
If executed, Lucio would become the first Hispanic woman executed by Texas.
https://nypost.com/2022/03/28/texas-mother-set-to-be-put-to-death-next-month-gains-support/ Texas mother set to be executed next month receives support