BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Melissa Lucio was scheduled to be executed on April 27, after she was convicted of killing her 2-year-old daughter. Years after Lucio’s conviction some jurors are now coming forward claiming they got it wrong.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted the request to pause her execution due to doubts about whether Lucio was responsible for her daughter’s death, allowing for a lower court to examine her attorney’s claims that the new evidence will exonerate her.
Nexstar’s ValleyCentral spoke with one of those jurors who says he would not have voted to convict Lucio knowing what he knows now.
“What stood out to me was the fact that we had a confession,” Johnny Galvan said. “But now that I am looking at the confession and how it went, it’s not really a confession.”
Galvan remembers sitting in the Cameron County courthouse back in 2008 deciding Melissa’s fate. While Galvan eventually sided with his fellow jurors to enforce the death penalty, it never sat right with him.
“I was walking out of there and I have hands sticking out to me trying to congratulate me,” Galvan said. “In my mind, I was thinking, ‘Why are you congratulating me for sending someone to the death penalty?”
Galvan tells ValleyCentral he continued to follow Lucio’s case following the conviction and began to see more evidence that was not presented to the jury come out. Along with the corruption scandal involving the former Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos, Galvan said it started raising serious doubts.
“We definitely thought she was a monster,” Galvan said. “But after layers and layers of that monster they put on her fell apart, all I could see was the innocence.”
Now with the stay of execution issued, Galvan now feels relief but hopes the court does the right thing this time.
“Maybe they owe something to her, I think they do,” Galvan said. “That’s something for the courts to decide. But you really can’t try her for anything, for what?”
But Galvan says he has hope for Melissa Lucio and her family.
“We’re sorry, we were blind, and we sent you to death row,” Galvan said. “But everything has been turned around and you can give thanks to the Lord because only he can do all this.”