#FreeMelissaLucio Campaign Report

Death Penalty Action
6 min readFeb 27, 2022


Death Penalty Action just completed a week-long media tour in Texas with Sabrina Van Tassel, the director of The State of Texas vs. Melissa, Melissa’s son, John, her sister Sonya, her niece Vanessa and her grandson Elijah.

The family’s messages: “WATCH THE FILM,” and TAKE ACTION to help stop the execution of Melissa Lucio. Our records show that you have not yet signed the petition for Melissa Lucio. Would you please do so now?


We believe that anyone who watches the film will come away from it with significant doubts about Melissa’s guilt, if they were not convinced of her innocence. Our experience in gas stations, restaurants, hotels and elsewhere across Texas is evidence of this. People who had seen the film who then saw us in our shirts or the signs on our cars approached to tell us of their support.

Our goal with the tour was to make sure that government officials are hearing from Texans from throughout the state, and know that the Texas public is aware of this injustice being perpetrated in their names and with their tax dollars.

That effort continues with local organizers throughout Texas. Everywhere we stopped we left shirts, signs, fliers, buttons, etc. with locals wanting to take action! Above is Ruthie W., a great supporter in Waco, with the box of signs and fliers she is distributing in her circles.

If you would like to do the same, let us know at info@freemelissalucio.org, but know that first we have to raise money with which to print more.

You can see photos, our live videos and links to the TV news reports that we generated on local stations in multiple media markets on John Lucio’s #FreeMelissaLucio Facebook Page.

We started the tour at the kitchen table of Melissa’s mother, Hope. The Brownsville Herald and it’s sister organs in Cameron County have prominently featured the family’s efforts to be heard several times, including when the family took their message to Cameron County DA Luis Saenz, when they confronted Governor Abbott, and when their tour launched.

The Houston Chronicle had a front page story covering our visit, with fabulous photos and which served as a tremendous vehicle for the messages of the legal team, with whom we have connected every reporter we have encountered.

Melissa’s family is also pushing for calls and communications to Governor Abbott and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. In a visit to the Governor’s office on Tuesday, John Lucio was told that the phones have been ringing there for weeks now, and the family asks that we keep that up. All of the relevant phone numbers and direct email addresses are at www.FreeMelissaLucio.org.

We’ll review more of this, meet some of the activist leaders from around the state, and watch some of the TV news items on our weekly live campaign update gathering with John Lucio via Zoom, Saturday evening immediately following John’s visit with his mother at the women’s prison at Gatesville. Register for the zoom, here.

Register for the Weekly ZOOM Meeting

Every Saturday at Approximately 7:30PM CT

John Lucio invites you to check in with him and campaign leadership for a live conversation and campaign update. We’ve done this every Saturday since Melissa’s date was set and it is a powerful connection!

REGISTER HERE, or watch on the Free Melissa Lucio Facebook Page.

We’ll also give a a review of the status of the case, the past week’s activities, and what’s coming up.


Magdaleno Rose-Avila has this op-ed posted in Spanish in several Spanish language publications. Dolores Huerta created this PSA. Please share them both!


As International Women’s Day approaches on March 8, we will soon begin sharing the opportunity to view the film about this case free-of-charge on March 7 & 8 via a link that will be on www.FreeMelissaLucio.org. Please watch for and share the announcements.


Also, we have negotiated the waiving of all fees for any group that would like to view the film in a public setting, such as a theater. Normally these things would need to be negotiated and a fee paid to the distributor of such an award-winning film, which is currently available to view for $5.99 on the FreeMelissaLucio.org web page, or at whatever the going rate is on Hulu, Amazon Prime, and others. Yesterday a Spanish dubbed version of the film went into distribution via the Discovery Channel throughout South & Central America. If you are planning such an event and wish to receive a hard copy of the film and other materials (required by some theaters), please email Garineh Nazarian <gnazarian@filmrise.com>. The only charge will be to cover the cost of shipping said materials. Please also let us know about your screening via email to info@freemelissalucio.org so that we may list your event on the calendar and amplify it on social media.

Help Fund The Work to #FreeMelissaLucio!

We’re hand to mouth on this work, and we need your help as we continue to travel around the state raising awareness and earning the free media coverage that is helping us reach millions of Texas with the message to Watch The Film.

To the right is a photo of one of our gas purchases. Also, John, Sonya and Vanessa all sacrificed personal income to spend a whole week on the road to help save Melissa. We are raising funds for a stipend for each of them. Please chip in!

Please support this trip and the work we are doing to build community throughout Texas and beyond.

And… Have You Written the Parole Board Yet?

We’ve heard the clemency hearing is now set for March 18, so it is time to pour it on! Please use the postal mail to write a brief personal message to the public officials who can make a difference in this case. Ask that they watch the documentary The State of Texas vs. Melissa and #FreeMelissaLucio

Office of the District Attorney

Attn: Luis V. Saenz

1100 E. Monroe St. Dancy Building

Brownsville, Texas 78520

Office of the Governor

Attn: Gov. Greg Abbott

P.O. Box 12428

Austin, Texas 78711–2428

Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles

P. O. Box 13401

Austin, Texas 78711–3401



A message from John: It’s not “buying a shirt.” You will be contributing to the effort to stop the execution of my mom, Melissa Lucio, and picking up an organizing tool.

When you get yours, please take a picture wearing it and send it to info@freemelissalucio.org if we may use it on the web page and social media.

And I am proud to say we have regular unisex t-shirts, and the women’s style shirts are in!

NEW: Buttons!

Wearing the message will help spread the word that Texas is planning to kill an innocent woman for a crime that never occurred. So think bigger and donate as much as you can. The more you give, the more we can do.

All funds raised help Death Penalty Action support Melissa Lucio’s family as they raise their voices. efforts to stop the execution of his mother. Click here to order your shirt or buttons now!

Please allow our volunteers some flexibility in sending these items. We promise to send them ASAP.


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