Melissa Lucio

On Monday, Texas’ highest criminal court approved a stay of execution for Melissa Lucio. She is a Hispanic mother of 14, convicted of killing her 2-year-old kid more than a decade ago in a case that has sparked bipartisan anger.

Melissa Lucio has maintained her innocence for a long time, and appeals for mercy have grown across Texas, including among scores of Democratic and Republican state politicians, as fresh evidence and expert testimony surfaced casting substantial doubt on her guilt.

Melissa Lucio Is Charged With The Murder Of Her Two-Year-Old Daughter

The Court of Criminal Appeals decided that some of her attorneys’ allegations needed to be reviewed by a trial court in a three-page judgment ordering a postponement of the execution scheduled for Wednesday. They believe prosecutors may have fabricated evidence. 

Furthermore, previously unreleased scientific data may have prevented her conviction, as well as the fact that prosecutors concealed substantial evidence that would be advantageous to her.

The case will now be heard by a lower court, which will postpone the execution indefinitely. Ms. Lucio would have been Texas‘ first Hispanic woman to be executed.

Ms. Lucio’s counsel maintained that evidence revealed at trial weakened the case for homicide in the death of her daughter, Mariah, and the case drew national attention, including a documentary film. Mariah died two days after falling down a flight of stairs while transferring between residences, according to Ms. Lucio and her children. The cause of death, according to an autopsy, was blunt force trauma to the skull.

Melissa Lucio was found guilty of murdering her daughter based in part on her claims made during a five-hour interrogation shortly after Mariah’s death in 2007. A lower court will now convene a hearing to review the additional evidence and determine if a new trial is necessary, according to the court’s decision on Monday.