Melissa Lucio Granted a Stay of Execution in Texas

Melissa Lucio, who was set to be executed for the death of her 2-year old daughter Mariah, was granted a stay of execution and a new hearing on Monday by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. The court ordered a new hearing to consider whether her conviction was based on an unreliable false confession which Lucio, a victim of sexual abuse and domestic violence, offered in response to threatening, hostile questioning by investigators.

“The court’s decision paves the way for Melissa to present evidence of her innocence that should have been heard by the jury that condemned her to death 14 years ago,” said Professor Sandra Babcock, director of the Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide and one of Lucio’s attorneys.

Bipartisan Group Urges Reconsideration of Melissa Lucio’s Death Sentence

The state of Texas plans to put Melissa Lucio to death by lethal injection on Wednesday, April 27, which would make her the sixth woman executed in the U.S. in the last decade and the first Hispanic woman in Texas history.

But new evidence of Lucio’s interrogation reveals how unlikely it is that she is guilty—which is why a bipartisan group of Texas state lawmakers is asking authorities to reconsider the scheduled execution. They join hundreds of other Texans—including 225 anti-domestic violence groups, 130 faith leaders and 30 Latino organizations—in urging the Board of Pardons and Paroles and Governor Abbott to grant Lucio a reprieve.

17-Year-Old in Iran Murdered by Husband and Cousin for Fleeing Domestic Violence

Mona Heydari was forced to marry her cousin as a 12-year-old and birthed his child at 14. At 17, after fleeing the country and attempting to escape the abusive marriage, her life was ended by her husband.

Honor killings involving young women in Iran have become an all too common occurrence over the last two years, with a long list of victims. The lasting oppressive patriarchal and misogynistic ideologies prominent in law enforcement, government and Iranian society has allowed the killing of young women to become a crime without punishment.

A Year After the Atlanta Shootings, Asian American Women Grapple With Continued Violence and How To Heal

Exactly one year ago, as my colleague and I were working on written testimony for a House Judiciary committee hearing on anti-Asian violence and discrimination, news broke about the killings of eight people, six of them Asian women, in the Atlanta area.

The news cycle has moved on—but I refuse to. Each time I see a picture of the latest Asian American woman victim, I see a family member, a friend. I see me.

Texas Set to Execute Melissa Lucio Despite Credible Claims of Innocence

Texas plans to put Melissa Lucio to death on April 27, which would make her the sixth woman executed in the U.S. in the last decade and the first Hispanic woman in Texas history. Lucio was convicted of murder in 2008 for the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Mariah, which she and her family claim was instead a tragic accident. Her attorneys are fighting to overturn her conviction and set aside her execution date based on her continued innocence claims and other procedural issues.

“Research shows prosecutors frequently trivialize women’s experiences as victims of gender-based violence when they are charged with crimes,” said Sandra Babcock, director of the Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide and one of Lucio’s attorneys. “Yet Melissa was a victim long before she was a defendant.”

Pregnancy and Childbirth Endanger Women’s Lives and Health: “Pregnancy Is Not a Benign Condition”

During oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson, Justice Amy Coney Barrett suggested now that all 50 states have “safe haven” laws that allow mothers to relinquish parental rights after birth, the burdens of parenthood discussed in Roe and Casey are irrelevant, and the decisions are obsolete. Putting aside the callous assumption that giving up a baby is not burdensome, the argument ignores the physical and psychological effects of pregnancy, labor and childbirth.

“Legal abortion has reduced deaths of women from unsafe abortion to almost zero and has had important positive effects on other aspects of maternal and child health,” said Dr. Warren M. Hern, director of the Boulder Abortion Clinic. “It has been one of the greatest public health successes in the history of medicine.”

“White Torture”: Why We Must Oppose Solitary Confinement

Narges Mohammadi, vice president of the Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran, has been held in solitary confinement on and off from 1998 and 2020 for her human rights advocacy. On Tuesday night, Mohammadi was arrested by Iranian security forces during a ceremony honoring a victim of Iran’s deadly response to November 2019 protests. She was taken to the notorious Evin prison.

Since her release in October 2020, Narges has tried to draw attention to the practice of “white torture”—a form of solitary confinement—in Evin and other Iranian prisons. That is the topic of this article—the first she has written in English.