AUSTIN, Texas — Friends, family, and even complete strangers all gathered together in front of the state capitol on Saturday to show support for Melissa Lucio, a Texas mother on death row.
Lucio spent the last 15 years in prison following the death of her two-year-old daughter, Mariah. Supporters say Mariah accidentally fell down a flight of stairs, but Lucio was convicted of killing her after she confessed to police. Supporters say she was pressured, and she's maintained innocence ever since.
"This woman needed us and we failed her," protest organizer Maggie Luna told 25 News. "The entire state, the whole system, including the justice system has failed her."
"I can't even fathom what that's going to feel like," Lucio's friend Jennifer Toon said. "If the state of Texas murders a friend, especially an innocent friend, this will devastate the community.
With Lucio's execution date coming up on Wednesday, supporters are begging the governor to step in. Not only to save the mother of 14, but also to end the death penalty all together.
"I think it really tarnishes Texas' reputation of being pro-life and being a Christian state," Toon said. "It's just not in line with our values and would be devastating."
The group spent Saturday afternoon raising awareness in the hopes that their message would reach Gov. Abbott.
"Realize what you're doing to the world, not just this one family," Luna said to him. "We all care about this situation."
They asked everyone to call the governor or the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole to ask them to reconsider.