Simply weeks forward of Melissa Lucio’s scheduled execution, one juror who voted to condemn Ms. Lucio to dying in 2008, wrote that he feels “deep remorse” in an op-ed printed by the Houston Chronicle on Sunday.
Johnny Galvan Jr. mentioned that on the time of Ms. Lucio’s trial, he didn’t wish to sentence her to dying as a result of he felt that Ms. Lucio’s protection legal professionals “had been hardly making a case for her life.” When jurors took their first vote on Ms. Lucio’s sentence, they had been evenly divided, Mr. Galvan recalled. After a second vote, he was the “lone holdout” advocating for a life sentence; nonetheless, he felt pressured by his fellow jurors and finally voted for a dying sentence alongside the others.
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“… I want I had by no means executed so,” he wrote within the op-ed.
Ms. Lucio has spent the final 14 years on dying row in Texas, convicted of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, who died two days after an unintended fall down stairs. The State of Texas plans to execute Ms. Lucio on April 27, 2022. Her authorized group filed a clemency petition on March 22, citing new knowledgeable proof that helps Ms. Lucio’s innocence to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and Gov. Greg Abbott.
“There are such a lot of issues on this case that I consider she should not be executed.”
Mr. Galvan mentioned the vast majority of the prosecution’s argument at trial rested on Ms. Lucio’s “confession,” however that the jury was not informed concerning the aggressive ways used within the interrogation, nor Ms. Lucio’s historical past as a survivor of abuse, which made her susceptible to falsely confessing when confronted with such ways. He added that the jury was by no means informed that Ms. Lucio asserted her innocence greater than 100 occasions in the course of the five-hour interrogation.
“No proof was introduced of that and it might have mattered to me,” he wrote. “Since studying about all of the issues we jurors had been by no means informed once we held Lucio’s life in our arms, I see her as a girl who had a tough life and plenty of struggles, who might have been anybody in my group.”
Mr. Galvan mentioned he was led to consider that the health worker had scientific proof of abuse, and that he and his fellow jurors weren’t conscious there have been different medical explanations for the kid’s bruises, which the health worker claimed with certainty might solely have been attributable to abuse.
“We jurors didn’t know there was one other medical rationalization for the child’s bruises, that consultants couldn’t say for positive she had a chew mark on her again, or that she might have damaged her arm in a fall or roughhousing along with her brothers and sisters. We had been informed it was clear that Lucio did these issues,” he wrote.
The truth that District Lawyer Armando Villalobos who prosecuted Ms. Lucio’s case is now serving a 13-year federal jail sentence for bribery and extortion “solely provides to my perception that our choice in Lucio’s case was mistaken,” Mr. Galvan mentioned.
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“If I had recognized all of this data, and even a part of it, I might have stood by my vote for all times it doesn’t matter what anybody else on the jury mentioned. However it seems a few of my fellow jurors would even have voted in a different way in the event that they knew all of the details about Lucio’s life, her interrogation and the info surrounding the kid’s dying that the legal professionals ought to have informed us,” he wrote.
In current months, 4 jurors — together with Mr. Galvan — have given statements saying they’d assist aid for Ms. Lucio, on account of their grave considerations about proof that was withheld from them at Ms. Lucio’s capital trial. These statements had been included within the clemency petition filed by Ms. Lucio’s authorized group.
Final month, 83 members of the Texas Home of Representatives — the vast majority of its members — spoke out in assist of clemency for Ms. Lucio. Lawmakers from each side of the aisle signed a letter asking Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to grant Ms. Lucio clemency. Some 225 anti-domestic violence and anti-sexual assault organizations and 130 Texas religion leaders have additionally known as for clemency for Ms. Lucio, who’s a religious Catholic.
Twenty-six dying row exonerees, including Sabrina Butler-Smith, who was wrongly convicted and sentenced to dying for the homicide of her little one in Mississippi, have advocated for clemency, too.
Mr. Galvan mentioned he needs he had recognized the reality when he sat on Ms. Lucio’s jury, writing, “The concept my choice to take one other individual’s life was not based mostly on full and correct data in a good trial is horrifying.”
He hopes that Gov. Abbott and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles will hear his plea: “There are such a lot of issues on this case that I consider she should not be executed.”