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Listen as Melissa Lucio learns her life has been spared

By Jolie McCullough, The Texas Tribune

Listen as Melissa Lucio learns her life has been spared” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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On Monday, Melissa Lucio was told by a state lawmaker that she was not going to be executed this week.

Listen to the conversation between state Rep. Jeff Leach, a Plano Republican, and Lucio, whose death sentence has drawn international outcry as more people come to doubt her guilt in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Mariah Alvarez.

Hear Melissa Lucio react to the news that her execution was halted.

Here is a transcript of their conversation:

Lucio: Hello.

Leach: Melissa.

Lucio: Yes.

Leach: Hey, this is Jeff Leach.

Lucio: Yes, sir.

Leach: How are you today?

Lucio: I’m doing fine. How are you?

Leach: Good, have you heard the news?

Lucio: No, what?

Leach: You haven’t heard the news yet?

Lucio: No. What happened?

Leach: The Court of Criminal Appeals issued a stay of your execution for Wednesday.

Lucio: Are you serious!? Are you serious!? [Laughing and crying.] When did this happen?!

Leach: We just got word about 15 minutes ago.

Lucio: Oh my God. [Laughing and crying.] That is wonderful. Oh my God. What does that mean?

Leach: [Laughing.] Well, it means you’re going to wake up on Thursday morning.

Lucio: Oh my goodness! [Laughing and crying.] Oh thank you, God.

Leach: You’re not making the trip to Huntsville on Wednesday, and the the order was very strong in that it appears that you’re going to get a new trial at the very least, they —

Lucio: Oh my goodness. That is so wonderful. Thank you so much!

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at

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