A woman in Texas who has been convicted of killing her 2-year-old daughter in 2007 attempted to stall her execution on Monday. Legal representatives for Melissa Lucio filed a last-ditch petition to delay if not stop her execution through a request of clemency before the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.

According to the New York Post, Attorney Vanessa Potkin of the Innocence Project filed for Lucio’s last legal option to delay the execution scheduled to take place on April 27. “If they don’t (stop the execution) then it would really be in the hands of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.”

Having full support from a number of Texas Republicans, Lucio’s lawyers have also asked Texas courts to at least delay her case to allow all the new evidence to be fully re-examined. “Our hope is that the court stays her execution so that we can put the pause on it so we can go back to court and have hearings on this new evidence supporting her innocence,” Potkin argued. 

On Friday, the Innocence Project filed a 242-page petition for a writ of habeas corpus with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals while asking them to review new evidence that has been filed. Included as part of the new evidence is an expert testimony that indicates Lucio’s previous confession was coerced. The defense argued that the child’s death was truthfully accidental.

In the course of her interrogation with the police, Lucio admitted to having bitten and spanked her daughter, Mariah as she insisted her death was not intentional. The child’s official cause of death was a blunt force trauma which Lucio claimed was caused by the girl falling down a flight of stairs. The defense argued the injuries caused by the fall resulted in her death as it took over two days for the mother of 14 children to seek medical help for her daughter.

“We can sit here and debate whether Ms. Lucio should have taken her to the hospital sooner when she started to decline in health, but she was not abused,” Potkin said.

Lucio will be the first Hispanic woman to face the death penalty in the  State of Texas should her execution push through. 

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