Bipartisan coalition of lawmakers call to stop or delay execution

More than 90 Texas lawmakers signed a letter to commute, or at least postpone, Melissa Lucio’s execution.

The Harlingen mother of 14 was convicted of killing her 2-year-old daughter Mariah in 2007.

"The system literally failed Melissa Lucio at every single turn," said Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Plano).

Lucio’s attorney’s argue the child’s death was an accident. Stating the injuries she died of were not caused by abuse but from falling down a steep staircase. They believe Lucio, who has a "low IQ, PTSD, depression" and is a lifelong victim of abuse was coerced into giving a confession. 

"When this happened Melissa was pregnant with twins, and she was questioned for more than five hours in the middle of the night, just two hours after Mariah's death." said Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston).  

Lucio’s partner was sentenced to four years in prison for failing to seek medical attention for Mariah. 

Texas law requires the Board of Pardons and Paroles to consider victim impact statements. Rep. Rafael Anchía said he believes Lucio’s family’s statements weigh heavily in favor of clemency. 

"All of the brothers and sisters [of Mariah] have asked the Board of Pardons and Paroles not to kill their mother. And that's powerful, and that is mercy. And that is their role."

Lucio has become a devout Catholic in prison, according to Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso). 

"In a state that professes a foundation in God, we should reconsider the wisdom of seeking a punishment that exceeds God's own," he said. 

Leach was asked what case he would make to Greg Abbott, the state’s first Roman Catholic to hold the office of governor. 

"The governor has done the right thing in standing up for innocent life, and it would be my hope that he will do the right thing here as well. And I have no reason to believe that he won't," he said. 

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