District Judge Recommends that Melissa Lucio’s Conviction be Overturned

On April 12, 2024, Judge Arturo Nelson, a district judge who presided over Melissa Lucio’s capital murder case, recommended to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals that her conviction be overturned.

The judge’s recommendation supports a joint statement prepared by the district attorney and Melissa Lucio’s defense representation which states that Ms. Lucio and her counsel were not given access to favorable information in the prosecution’s possession at the time of the trial.

In 2022, Ms. Lucio narrowly avoided death after receiving a stay of execution just two days before her scheduled execution. Ms. Lucio was convicted and sentenced to death for the death of her 2-year-old daughter in 2008 but has always maintained that her daughter died of complications relating to an accidental fall.

Catholic Mobilizing Network and people around the world rallied around this young Catholic mother to halt her execution. Ms. Lucio’s case drew significant attention due to the compelling evidence that shed serious doubt on her guilt. This recent development in her case is a welcome sign of progress in the long fight for her freedom.

Some of the favorable information that was withheld by the prosecution included particular evidence indicating that one of Ms. Lucio’s other children saw the child fall. Additionally, reports from Child Protective Services (CPS) indicated that Ms. Lucio’s children told officials she was not abusive to any of them. Further evidence indicated that Ms. Lucio’s children told CPS that she was worried about her daughter after the fall and cared greatly for her before she died. 

At the time of Ms. Lucio’s trial, her attorneys did not have full copies of these CPS reports. Instead they were provided only summaries that did not include this favorable evidence.

The district attorney’s office has admitted that the prosecution withheld this exculpatory evidence from Ms. Lucio’s defense.

CMN created the following video as part of the campaign to stop Melissa Lucio’s execution.

Similar Posts