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Melissa Lucio will be executed in Texas, should she receive the death penalty?

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  • Melissa Lucio to be executed in Texas.
  • She is accused of beating her daughter Mariah Álvarez to death.
  • She still says that she is innocent.

Melissa Lucio has been informed that her death sentence, for having killed her daughter, will be carried out on April 27, 2022. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) has informed Melissa Lucio that a judge in Cameron County has signed off on the date of her sentence.

Melissa Lucio will be the first woman to receive the death penalty in the Walls Unit prison, in Huntsville, Texas, since the execution of Karla Faye Tucker. She received a lethal injection on February 3, 1998 for the murder of two people during a robbery.

Should Melissa Lucio receive the death penalty in Texas?

Should Melissa Lucio receive the death penalty in Texas?
Melissa Lucio, 53, has been informed that her death sentence will be carried out on April 27, 2022. (PHOTO: Texas Department of Criminal Justice)

However, thousands of people are protesting Melissa Lucio’s sentence everyday. They believe that the Hispanic mother is not guilty of her two-year-old daughter, Mariah Álvarez’s, murder in the County of Cameron, in southeast Texas.

Melissa Lucio was 38 years old when her little daughter Mariah died. Lucio cleaned houses and offices to support her 12 children. When Lucio was arrested in 2007 accused of murder, she was pregnant with twins and had to give those children up for adoption after giving birth in prison. As a child, Lucio suffered sexual abuse and domestic violence.

The emergency call about an unconscious girl

The emergency call that reported an unconscious girl
PHOTO: Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Melissa Lucio’s story is contained in thousands of legal documents from her case that tell the tale of the tragedy. Lucio has claimed her innocence the entire time she has been in prison, even after being sentenced to death.

On the night of February 17, 2007, Harlingen Police Department (HPD) received an emergency call requesting the presence of the authorities at an apartment on Lee Street, where a small child was unconscious.

Mariah Álvarez died in the emergency room

Mariah Álvarez died in the emergency room
PHOTO: Taken from Twitter

The documents of the case detail that the first HPD patrolmen who arrived at the home of Melissa Lucio and her husband Roberto Antonio Álvarez, found little Mariah Álvarez unconscious. Melissa Lucio told officers the girl had fallen and hit her head.

Mariah Álvarez was rushed to Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen, Texas, so doctors could try to save her life. However, their efforts were in vain and the girl was pronounced dead in the emergency room.

Melissa Lucio had no history of violence against her children

Melissa Lucio had no history of violence against her children
PHOTO: Taken from Twitter

The official cause of death of young Mariah Álvarez was declared to have been due to a severe blow to the head. The case was then taken over to be investigated by detectives from the HPD Homicide Division. They took Melissa Lucio and Roberto Antonio Álvarez to the department’s headquarters for questioning.

According to detectives from the HPD Homicide Division, Mrs. Melissa Lucio admitted to beating her little girl which led to her death. Texas Child Protective Services (CPS) had never received a report of physical abuse regarding any of Melissa Lucio’s 12 children.

Activists say Melissa Lucio confessed under duress

Activists say Melissa Lucio testified under duress
PHOTO: Taken from Twitter

Melissa Lucio was officially arrested on February 18, 2007, accused of beating her daughter Mariah Álvarez to death. Roberto Antonio Álvarez was arrested and accused of exposing a minor to danger by omission and negligence. The two were booked into the Cameron County Jail.

The non-profit organization, Innocence Project, which defends people who have allegedly been wrongfully convicted, has taken her case. They maintain that Melissa Lucio’s alleged statement, in which she admitted to having killed her daughter Mariah Álvarez, was made under coercion by detectives.

“Relentless and aggressive interrogation”

"Relentless and aggressive interrogation"

The Innocence Project attorneys’ investigation found that Melissa Lucio was interrogated for hours, without a legal representative, by prosecutors and armed police officers in Cameron County. They say she was subjected to “coercive interrogation” from the night of February 17 until 3:00 a.m. the next day.

“After hours of relentless and aggressive questioning in the presence of armed detectives, she broke down and told investigators what they wanted to hear to stop their questioning: ‘I guess I did it, I’m responsible.’ She was pregnant with twins the night of the interrogation,” says the Innocence Project investigation.

Armando Villalobos, the prosecutor who ended up in jail

Armando Villalobos, the prosecutor who ended up in jail
PHOTO: Taken from Twitter

Armando Villalobos, the District Attorney in Harlingen County, convicted Melissa Lucio based on her statement she gave, allegedly admitting to having killed her little daughter Mariah Álvarez. The Innocence Project maintains that the prosecutor did not provide forensic evidence to confirm that the girl had died from being beaten by her mother.

When Armando Villalobos was the District Attorney in Harlingen County prosecuting Melissa Lucio’s case, he was seeking re-election. On February 11, 2014, the United States Department of Justice announced that Villalobos was the target of an investigation into corruption, bribery and extortion. Villalobos is serving a 13-year sentence for those federal crimes.

The case of Melissa Lucio raises heated debates

The case of Melissa Lucio raises heated debates
PHOTO: Taken from Twitter

Melissa Elizabeth Lucio, 53, is in jail in Gatesville, Texas. She has been informed that on Wednesday, April 27, 2022, she will be taken to the Walls Unit in Huntsville to face her death sentence for the beating death of her little daughter Melissa Álvarez.

To this day, Melissa maintains that she did not kill her daughter and that the girl accidentally fell down the apartment stairs. Thousands of people in Texas discuss Melissa Lucio’s case every day. Some maintain that she is innocent and others believe that she is guilty.

The post Melissa Lucio will be executed in Texas, should she receive the death penalty? appeared first on Mundo Hispanico.

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