The state of Texas vs. Melissa

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The state of Texas vs. Melissa

Synopsis: Melissa Lucio was the first woman Spanish-American sentenced to death in Texas. Accused of having killed his two-year-old daughter, this poor mother and drugged, ticks all the boxes of the guilty ideal. Yet, its history is full of shadows, will be much more complex than it seems…

The trial of a parody of a trial

“The bruises on her legs, on her legs, between the knee and the hip, they come from where ? “. Before you even see Melissa Lucio through images, poorly filmed, it means a man who asks these questions. “Spankings “, replied she. We learn later, with other footage shot during the interrogation, it is 3 o’clock in the morning and 7 hours 4 men take turns with Melissa for him to confess to the murder of Mariah, her 2-year-old daughter, she is able to drink or eat and that it cannot go to the toilet. Anyway, for this 3 police and this store, this woman is guilty, necessarily guilty. Their only question: is she a killer in cold blood, or a simple bad mother having the habit of beating up his offspring? It must be said that, even for us mere spectators, the first impression is rather in the sense of the guilt of Melissa, even if you say that a documentary would not have spent a whole movie if she had believed in the guilt! A pang of guilt resulted in the condemnation to the death of Melissa, in the tunnel of death for more than 10 years, with the first hispano-American sentenced to death in the state of Texas.

Well, in fact, Sabrina Van Tassel do not believe in the guilt of Melissa and, throughout the film, she is going to be in four to convince us of his innocence, telling about his life little girl is raped, married very young, and the mother of 14 children, by appealing to the testimony of his family, mother, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, to the testimony of a psychologist, the testimony of a medical examiner by pointing out the many errors, many of the oversights of his lawyer, whether through incompetence or intentionally for the purpose, also finally reached, to get a position higher profit, looking at Armando Villalobos, the attorney general, who needed a case such as that of Melissa ends with a death sentence to trace his popularity with the voters, and that was, a little later, tried, and heavily condemned for bribery and extortion, etc, etc..


Wear a “judgment” on such a film is both difficult and easy.

Difficult, because one can’t help but wonder to what extent the director, including the apriori, is announced at the beginning of the film, has chosen to retain only the elements in the sense of the innocence of Melissa. In fact, Sabrina Van Tassel conducted a real investigation of the investigation and it has not failed to consider the evidence: the addiction of Melissa to the drug, extracts of films shot during the interrogation conducted by the police shortly after the death of Mariah, it involves the forensic pathologist who conducted the autopsy of Mariah shortly after her death and gave conclusions very adverse to Melissa, conclusions invalidated by the specialist met by the director, she gives the word to Peter Gilman, the lawyer of Melissa during her first trial, and Alfredo Padilla, who has replaced Armando Villalobos for the position of Prosecutor of the county of Cameron, and who remains convinced of the guilt of Melissa. This is not the fault of Sabrina Van Tassel if these 2 men are so unconvincing in front of the camera, Peter Gilman in particular, wishing clearly not someone to re-examine his work. Not his fault if the justice the US ready so easily vulnerable to criticism: Melissa, the Latin-American roots, coming from a poor background, poorly educated, would she have been accused of infanticide and sentenced to death if she had been white, rich, and well-educated? Probably not!

Easy, because, as regards the form, the film is a complete success. In fact, the film’s editing, the way that Sabrina Van Tassel tells the story of Melissa, introducing each time the twists and turns in the best time, make The state of Texas vs. Melissa a kind of thriller that absolutely fascinating, and we must admit we don’t come out completely unscathed to this series of uppercuts received in the abdomen.



Some of the documentaries can be more exciting, more intense, more exciting is than the vast majority of thrillers fiction that we are offered. This is the case of The State of Texas against Melissa. Even more exciting, addictive, and panting that this is the life of a person who is in the game.

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