HARLINGEN, Texas — Supporters of Melissa Lucio on Saturday held rallies and solidarity gatherings in at least 16 cities across the nation.
The South Texas mother of 11 is on death row after she was convicted of killing her youngest daughter, Mariah, in 2007. Lucio is scheduled to be executed in the Texas death chamber next Wednesday unless Gov. Greg Abbott or the Cameron County prosecutor intervenes.
Her case has gained national attention after questions about the lack of evidence and her trial cast doubt on her guilt. Five of the jurors who convicted Lucio have asked the state parole board and Gov. Greg Abbott to stop her execution.
Magdaleno Rose-Avila drove all the way to the Rio Grande Valley from Atlanta, Georgia, in support of Lucio.
"We’re on a countdown for Melissa Lucio’s case. I wanted to be here," Rose-Avila said. "People are saying, you know, there are so many errors with this case. That she should not only not have a death sentence, but she should have been freed immediately."
Annamarie Flores is another person protesting for Lucio.
"As a mom, I feel sorry for her kids. Because her kids are going through this as well," she said. "I feel that she’s innocent. I don’t feel that she should be put to death."
A petition calling for the case to be reinvestigated and on Cameron County District Attorney Luis Saenz to withdraw Lucio's death warrant has garnered more than 340,000 signatures.
"Cameron County District Attorney, Luis Saenz, has the power to stop the execution by withdrawing the death warrant. We are calling on Mr. Saenz to withdraw the execution date and free Melissa Lucio, because she is innocent," said Abraham Bonowitz, executive director of Death Penalty Action.
Her supporters held rallies in the following cities on Saturday:
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Austin, Texas
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Brownville, Texas
- Cleveland, Ohio
- Columbus, Ohio
- Dallas, Texas
- El Paso, Texas
- Fort Worth, Texas
- Greensboro, North Carolina
- Harlingen, Texas
- Houston, Texas
- Los Angeles, California
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
- San Antonio, Texas
- Washington D.C.