Melissa Lucio Gets Last Minute Reprieve


Kayden Berger

Screenshot of the Innocence Project Home Page.

Melissa Lucio, mother of 14, has maintained her innocence for 15 years, and just days before her execution, the court ordered a stay of execution following some questions that were raised by her lawyers.  

The Innocence Project’s hard work finally came into fruition on Monday night. The highest criminal court in Texas put an indefinite stop to the execution of Melissa Lucio. A stay of execution is a court order to temporarily suspend the execution of a court judgment or other court order. According to Vanessa Poktin, the director at the Innocence Project, and one of Lucio’s attorneys, “The Court of Criminal Appeals did the right thing by stopping Melissa’s execution. Medical evidence shows that Mariah’s death was consistent with an accident. But for the State’s use of false testimony, no juror would have voted to convict Melissa of capital murder because no murder occurred.” 

The Court of Appeals found that the claims raised by her lawyers needed to be reconsidered. The case will be returned to a lower court further postponing her execution indefinitely. Melissa Lucio’s execution had drawn much attention as she would’ve also been the first hispanic woman in Texas executed since the Civil War. Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian also celebrated the stay of execution, according to Us Weekly. In 2020, Sabrina Van Tassel, a filmmaker, created the documentary, “The State of Texas vs. Melissa”, which follows the life of Melissa Lucio. For anyone interested in watching, the documentary is currently on Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. There is currently no set date for the trial but the case is reopened and Melissa will get the justice she’s deserved for 15 years.

If you’d like to find out more,  has all the information you might need.