A Texas appeals court on Monday delayed the execution of a woman amid growing doubts about whether she fatally beat her 2-year-old daughter in a case that has garnered the support of lawmakers, celebrities, and even some of the jurors who sentenced her to death, per the AP. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted a request by Melissa Lucio’s lawyers for a stay of execution so a lower court can review her claims that new evidence in her case would exonerate her. It was not immediately known when the lower court will begin reviewing her case.
Lucio had been set for lethal injection on Wednesday for the 2007 death of her daughter Mariah in Harlingen, a city of about 75,000 in Texas’ southern tip. The execution stay was announced minutes before the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles had been set to consider her clemency application to either commute her death sentence or grant her a 120-day reprieve. Lucio maintains that her daughter was injured in a fall down a flight of stairs. (Read background on the case here.)