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Reuters: How O’Melveny lawyers Helped Save a Texas Death Row Inmate From ExecutionMay 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.”
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