The support of figures like Kim Kardashian and a movement that extends beyond the borders of the United States: calls for clemency multiply in favor of Melissa Lucio, condemned to death for the murder of her daughter at the end of a controversial trial, which is to be run in Texas on April 27.
For fifteen years, this Mexican-American has been claiming her innocence. In 2007, her 2-year-old daughter Mariah was found dead in her home, covered in bruises, days after falling down stairs. The life of Melissa Lucio, 12 children and pregnant with twins, is marked by both physical and sexual assault, drug addiction and precarious conditions. She is immediately suspected of having hit her.
“There is no DNA, no witness”
She is questioned at length, barely a few hours after the death of her daughter. After saying “that she hadn’t done it nearly a hundred times”, at 3 a.m. she makes a confession “completely extorted”, according to Sabrina Van Tassel, director of the hit documentary The State of Texas vs. Melissa and support from the American. “I guess I did”, Melissa Lucio, questioned about the presence of bruises, said to the investigators.
This confession is “the only thing they had against her”, assures Sabrina Van Tassel, convinced that“There is nothing that links Melissa Lucio to the death of this child, there is no DNA, no witness”.
At trial, however, an emergency doctor said he was ” worse “ cases of child abuse he has seen in his career.
But the handicaps of the girl, likely to explain her fall, had not been taken into account by the experts, according to her defense, which ensures that the bruises could have been caused by a blood circulation disorder. None of Melissa’s children had accused her of being violent. As for the prosecutor, he will later be sentenced to prison for corruption and extortion.
“Victim of a miscarriage of justice”
For years, the case of Melissa, 53 years old today, did not interest many people. The documentary changes things and, in recent weeks, a movement has gathered around it.
Reality star Kim Kardashian wrote on Twitter on Wednesday April 6 to her tens of millions of followers that there was “so many unresolved questions around this case”.
His situation has moved as far as Latin America, where many media tell his story. She is the first Hispanic woman to be sentenced to death in Texas, the most executing state in the 21st century.and century.
In France, Christiane Taubira, former Keeper of the Seals and ex-candidate for the 2022 presidential election, is committed to Melissa Lucio, probably “victim of a miscarriage of justice”.
Supported by Republicans
One of the jurors in his trial confided his “deep regret” of having sentenced her to death, in an editorial published at the beginning of March.
Melissa Lucio is even supported by Republicans, traditionally more inclined to defend capital punishment. About 80 Texas lawmakers from both parties have called on authorities to call off his execution. Several went to visit him in prison. “As a conservative Republican myself, a longtime supporter of the death penalty for the most heinous crimes, I have never seen a more disturbing case than that of Melissa Lucio,” said one of them, Jeff Leach.
Republican Governor Greg Abbott, a staunch defender of the death penalty, can still delay the execution, or grant clemency if the state pardons and parole board recommends it.