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Execution of Melissa Lucio: Rally organized in Dallas to free her

Lucio was convicted for the death of her daughter 15 years ago in Harlingen, Texas. She is to be executed on April 27.

DALLAS — A group gathered outside Dallas City Hall on Thursday, calling on the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to release Texas death row inmate Melissa Lucio. On Friday, they met again for a press conference on the same subject.

Lucio’s execution is scheduled for April 27, 2022. She could be the first Latina to be executed in the state of Texas, lawmakers say.

As time goes by, protests and pleas for clemency continue to escalate across the state.

“Melissa Lucio’s story really shines a light on the injustices in our criminal justice system,” State Representative Victoria Neave Criado of Dallas said Thursday.

On Wednesday, seven Texas House representatives, including Neave Criado, met with Lucio at a correctional facility in Gatesville. They have serious doubts about Lucio’s evidence and conviction.

“She was a survivor of domestic violence. A lifelong survivor of sexual abuse. The situation and the facts of this case are so overwhelming that it demonstrates his innocence,” said Neave Criado.

Lucio was convicted for the death of her daughter 15 years ago in Harlingen, in the Rio Grande Valley in southern Texas.

According to prosecutors, the 2-year-old girl showed signs of abuse on her body. But family members claim her daughter’s death was an accident, saying she fell down the stairs.

Lucio’s attorneys said their witnesses were not allowed to testify during the trial, including an eyewitness who saw the fall.

Rep. Neave Criado released the following statement after the meeting with Lucio:

“Against the cold facade of Texas Death Row, Melissa Lucio sat with us beaming and filled with hope, love for her family and a deep faith that she will be free one day. She said that every day is a struggle, but it’s by the grace of God that she’s here, and she won’t stop fighting for justice.In this room, hand in hand with Melissa Lucio, we weren’t neither Republicans nor Democrats, we were citizens of humanity inspired for urgent action to help prevent irreversible injustice. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to meet Melissa Lucio today alongside my colleagues from the Texas House of Representatives: Rep. Jeff Leach, Rep. Joe Moody, Rep. Rafael Anchia, Rep. Toni Rose, Rep. James White, and Rep. … Lacey Hull.

Other Texas lawmakers also weighed in, calling for a stay of execution.

“We’re not saying Miss Lucio is innocent. We’re not saying she’s guilty. We’re asking the board to grant her some leniency, so we can bring her to trial,” the state representative said. James White.

Lucio’s family members said they remain optimistic as the April 27 execution date approaches.

“It’s less than a month. It’s less than a month. It’s scary,” said John Lucio, as he reflected on his mother’s impending execution.

He and his family are hoping the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles will grant a reprieve or clemency.

“Knowing that we have supporters who support the death penalty who are fighting for my mother is powerful,” added John Lucio.

Another rally at Dallas City Hall was held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, attended by Neave Criado and John Lucio.

Watch Friday’s rally here on the WFAA YouTube channel:

John Lucio held back tears before he could even speak on Friday. He thanked Neave Criado and those who supported his mother.

“I don’t want my mother executed,” John Lucio said with tears in his eyes. “I don’t want to lose her.”

Lucio’s case has drawn national attention in recent years.

Last year, Hulu released “The State of Texas vs. Melissa,” which detailed how innocent she could be. Last month, HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” discussed his case in an episode about wrongful convictions.

As critics continue to point to evidence of abuse uncovered in the original trial, supporters, including celebrities, are also taking an interest in Lucio’s case and calling for clemency.

Kim Kardashian expressed her support for Lucio and signed a petition urging Governor Abbott to stop Lucio’s execution.

“The real potential injustice here is that if we get to April 27, if she doesn’t have that opportunity, it will be too late,” Neave Criado said.

Some state lawmakers and supporters are urging residents to write letters to Governor Abbott and the Board of Pardons and Parole, urging them to delay or reverse Lucio’s execution, as new evidence in the case surface.

WFAA sister station KVUE contributed to this report.

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