In 2008, 39-year-old Melissa Lucio became the first Hispanic woman sentenced to death in the state of Texas. She’d been tried and convicted of capital murder in the death of her two-year-old daughter, Mariah Alvarez. On February 17th, 2007, first responders were called to Melissa’s home to find Mariah in cardiac arrest. Despite resuscitation efforts, Mariah was pronounced dead at the hospital. She was found covered in bruises, with a cause of death ultimately determined to be from a significant head injury. Melissa had no documented history of abuse, but before investigators had even left her home that night, they’d formed their opinion of what happened, despite Melissa’s explanation. Since her sentencing, people across the world have been lobbying on Melissa’s behalf, petitioning for a stay of execution and, hopefully, a full exoneration. Was Melissa wrongly convicted and sentenced to death or was she responsible for the death of her youngest child?
TRIGGER WARNING: sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, child death, drug use
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