Melissa Lucio is Granted Stay of Execution
The Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops thanked the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals for intervening to spare the life of Melissa Lucio, a mother of 14 and a grandmother, who was scheduled for execution on April 27.
In a statement released the morning of April 25, the bishops said, “Since her imprisonment 14 years ago for the death of her daughter Mariah, Melissa Lucio has become a new person in Christ. Her conversion is a profound witness to the power of God’s love and mercy. We are grateful she has the opportunity to continue her personal conversion and to heal relationships with her children and grandchildren, relationships that have been strained by her imprisonment and the circumstances of her life.
“Melissa’s case highlights the serious flaws in our justice system that allowed her to be condemned to death on the basis of a dubious conviction.
“We continue to pray for Melissa Lucio, her family, her community, and all who have been affected by the devastating loss of Mariah. May Melissa’s story be a catalyst for our civic leaders to consider more deeply the need for reform of our laws and practices regarding criminal justice.”
Lucio, a Catholic mother of 14, was given the death sentence for the 2007 death of her 2-year-old daughter, Mariah, which Lucio has maintained was due to her daughter’s accidental fall down a stairway.
A broad coalition, including domestic violence and battered women’s organizations and former prosecutors, has expressed support for Lucio’s innocence.