Melissa Lucio’s execution behind schedule by way of Texas appeals courtroom

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HOUSTON (AP) — A Texas appeals courtroom on Monday behind schedule the execution of Melissa Lucio amid rising doubts about whether or not she fatally beat her 2-year-old daughter in a case that has garnered the improve of lawmakers, celebrities or even some jurors who sentenced her to loss of life.

The Texas Courtroom of Legal Appeals granted a request by way of Lucio’s legal professionals for a keep of execution so a decrease courtroom can evaluation her claims that new proof would exonerate her.

Lucio have been set for deadly injection Wednesday for the 2007 loss of life of her daughter Mariah in Harlingen, a town of about 75,000 in Texas’ southern tip.

Prosecutors have maintained that the woman was once the sufferer of abuse and famous that her frame was once coated in bruises. Lucio’s legal professionals say Mariah died from accidents she sustained in a collapse a steep staircase a number of days sooner than she died.

“I’m thankful the courtroom has given me the risk to reside and end up my innocence,” Lucio mentioned in a commentary equipped by way of her legal professionals. “Mariah is in my center nowadays and at all times. I’m thankful to have extra days to be a mom to my kids and a grandmother to my grandchildren. I will be able to use my time to assist convey them to Christ. I’m deeply thankful to everybody who prayed for me and spoke out on my behalf.”

Lucio’s mom, Esperanza Treviño, tearfully thanked all of her daughter’s supporters, pronouncing, “Thank God for the miracle.”

Lucio was once first advised her execution have been behind schedule in a telephone name with state Rep. Jeff Leach, a Republican who has helped lead a bipartisan effort to halt her execution, mentioned Vanessa Potkin, one among Lucio’s lawyers who’s with the Innocence Challenge.

“She sobbed. She was once simply beaten,” mentioned Potkin.

In a commentary, Leach mentioned he was once thankful the appeals courtroom had “driven the pause button on her execution, saving the state of Texas from the irreversible blunder of probably killing an blameless citizen.”

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The execution keep was once introduced mins sooner than the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles have been set to imagine Lucio’s clemency utility to both go back and forth her loss of life sentence or grant her a 120-day reprieve. The paroles board didn’t evaluation her clemency petition as a result of the execution keep. If the case had been to come back again sooner than the board at some point, Lucio’s legal professionals must record a brand new petition.

Lucio’s lawyers say her capital homicide conviction was once according to an unreliable and coerced confession that was once the results of relentless wondering and her lengthy historical past of being sexually, bodily and emotionally abused. They are saying Lucio wasn’t allowed to offer proof wondering the validity of her confession.

Her legal professionals additionally contend that unscientific and false proof misled jurors into believing Mariah’s accidents can have been brought about simplest by way of abuse and now not by way of clinical headaches from a serious fall.

“It could have surprised the general public’s moral sense for Melissa to be put to loss of life according to false and incomplete clinical proof for against the law that by no means even took place,” mentioned Potkin. “All the new proof of her innocence hasn’t ever sooner than been regarded as by way of any courtroom. The courtroom’s keep permits us to proceed preventing along Melissa to overturn her wrongful conviction.”

Cameron County District Legal professional Luis Saenz, whose place of job prosecuted the case, mentioned in a commentary he anticipated the execution to be behind schedule as a result of quite a lot of criminal problems stay unresolved.

“I welcome the chance to prosecute this situation within the court docket: the place witnesses testify underneath oath, the place witnesses could also be cross-examined, the place proof is ruled by way of the foundations of proof and prison process … This is our prison jurisprudence gadget, and it’s operating,” mentioned Saenz, who was once now not in place of job when Lucio was once attempted in 2008.

Right through a every so often contentious Texas Space committee listening to on Lucio’s case this month, Saenz had mentioned he disagreed with Lucio’s legal professionals’ claims that new proof would exonerate her. Prosecutors say Lucio had a historical past of drug abuse and from time to time had misplaced custody of a few of her 14 kids.

In its three-page order, the appeals courtroom requested that the trial courtroom in Brownsville that treated Lucio’s case evaluation 4 claims her legal professionals have made: whether or not prosecutors used false proof to convict her; whether or not prior to now unavailable medical proof would have avoided her conviction; whether or not she is in truth blameless; and whether or not prosecutors suppressed proof that may were favorable to her protection.

It was once now not straight away identified when the decrease courtroom would start reviewing her case. Tivon Schardl, one among Lucio’s legal professionals, mentioned they hope to persuade the trial pass judgement on to suggest a brand new trial. If this sort of advice is made, that may then be despatched to the Texas Courtroom of Legal Appeals, which might make the general determination on a brand new trial.

Greater than part the participants of the Texas Legislature had requested that her execution be halted. A bipartisan crew of state lawmakers traveled this month to Gatesville, the place the state properties feminine loss of life row inmates, and prayed with Lucio.

A kind of lawmakers, El Paso Democratic state Rep. Joe Moody, tweeted that he was once relieved for Lucio. “A keep confirms what we’ve mentioned all alongside: Melissa Lucio shouldn’t be on loss of life row,” he wrote.

5 of the 12 jurors who sentenced Lucio and one change juror have puzzled their determination and requested that she get a brand new trial.

Lucio’s motive additionally has the backing of religion leaders and celebrities equivalent to Kim Kardashian, and it was once featured on HBO’s “Remaining Week This night with John Oliver.”


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