KEY POINTS

  • Melissa Lucio is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on April 27, 2022
  • Lucio's daughter, 2-year-old Mariah, died from blunt force trauma in 2007
  • 83 Republican and Democrat members of the Texas House of Representatives have signed the petition

A Texas mother has been scheduled to be executed next month after being convicted of murdering her 2-year-old daughter. A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the state has meanwhile come forward in support of the woman, requesting to cancel her execution in the light of "new evidence" in the case.

Melissa Lucio was convicted of killing her daughter, Mariah, in 2008 and has been ordered to be executed by lethal injection on April 27, 2022, New York Post reported. If the execution order goes as planned, Lucio would become the first Latina put to death by Texas. 

Mariah died from blunt force trauma in 2007, and Lucio, the mother of 14 children, told police that her daughter died after she fell down the stairs. Lucio later admitted to biting and spanking Mariah, who had multiple bruises and scratches on her body. However, she insisted during interrogation that the child's death was an accident.

In a petition to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, a group of 83 Republican and Democrat members of the Texas House of Representatives have requested to delay or cancel Lucio's execution. They have pleaded with the parole board officials to give particular attention to the "new scientific evidence" that has emerged during Lucio's trial. However, the letter does not specify what the new evidence is.

"Mariah died in a tragic accident rather than intentional capital murder. Ms. Lucio was sentenced for a murder that, simply put, did not take place, and no eyewitness account exists saying otherwise," the letter stated.

The lawmakers also drew attention to the sentencing disparities between Lucio and her husband, who was also convicted on the charges of child endangerment. Lucio's husband, who reportedly had a history of assaultive behavior, was allowed to walk free after serving a four-year sentence. 

"Texas never executes someone for a crime they did not commit. That is why we are confident that you will come to the same conclusion we have: that the State of Texas cannot, in good faith, execute Ms. Lucio next month," the politicians pleaded in the letter.

After Mariah's death, Lucio's remaining children were sent to live with their relatives or were placed in child protective services.

"She's a great mother. She’s not a perfect mother. We all have imperfections. Half of me believes that she’s already saved. But then there’s also that other half that is scary still," Lucio’s son John was cited as saying as KXAN.

Even if the parole board accepts the plea for canceling the execution, it needs Gov. Greg Abbott's approval.

courtroom-g63b4dd39e_640 representational image Photo: pixabay