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Reuters: How O’Melveny lawyers Helped Save a Texas Death Row Inmate From Execution

May 02, 2022

A seven-lawyer O’Melveny pro bono team secured a stay of execution for capital defendant Melissa Lucio, two days before she was scheduled to be put to death by the state of Texas. Lucio was charged for murdering her 2-year-old daughter. “It seemed unfathomable that the state would execute someone with such compelling evidence of innocence,” said O’Melveny partner Meaghan VerGow, who led the team along with fifth-year associate Grace Leeper. The team filed a 266-page habeas application with the Court of Criminal Appeals that, according to Leeper, exposed a “a chain of errors.” VerGow noted that they “achieved the results that we did because we had such an effective, well-functioning team that had the resources to bring Melissa’s story to life. It’s terrifying to think of how this case might have turned out if we hadn’t.”

Reuters subscribers can read the full article here.