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Family of woman on death row claims she's innocent, pleads for her release

Melissa Lucio's family was in Austin on Tuesday, hoping for her release after being convicted of killing her daughter 15 years ago.

AUSTIN, Texas — Family members of Melissa Lucio, a woman on death row, came to Austin today to get the attention of lawmakers. They said they want her execution, which is scheduled for April 27, stopped.

She was convicted of killing her daughter Mariah Alvarez 15 years ago in Harlingen, Texas.

“We’re torn apart. My mom, my mom has no life in her no more. For the past 15 years, she has been grieving for her daughter,” said Sonya Valencia Alvarez, Lucio’s sister.

Melissa’s son, John Vincent Lucio, isn’t giving up. He and his aunt, Alvarez, put flyers on people’s cars hoping they sign a petition to free his mother.

“I know she’s innocent, because my mother has never ever been an abusive woman.”

John Lucio said his sister died on accident.

“She had an accident. She did fall down. If you watch the documentary, you can see the stairs that she fell on,” he said.

Some people agreed with that. That’s what spurred the 2020 Hulu documentary, “The State of Texas vs. Melissa,” which detailed how Melissa Lucio could be innocent.

“In 2019, she basically won her appeal. The fifth circuit court of appeals, which is the most conservative court in the country, reversed her conviction unanimously on the fact that she didn’t have a fair trial,” said documentary filmmaker Sabrina Van Tassel.

But then the State appealed the appeal, keeping Melissa Lucio behind bars.

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