The State of Texas vs. Melissa Film Discussion

Panel discussion with the ​filmmaker and appellate attorney

State v Melissa film discussion flierThe Criminal Law, Justice, & Policy Program, the Criminal Law Society, the Women’s Law Student Association, the Latinx Law Students Association, and the Women of Color Collective Law Student Association led a virtual film screening followed by a panel discussion on October 9, 2020.

The film, The State of Texas vs. Melissa, was shown at the virtual Tribeca Film Festival this year and ​was released October 20th. The documentary tells the story of Melissa Lucio, the first Latina on death row in Texas. The case is still under appeal.

The panel discussion includes the filmmaker, Sabrina Van Tassel, and one of the defendant’s appellate attorneys, Richard Ellis, and ​is moderated by Professor Meg Penrose.

This was a special opportunity for us to screen a thought-provoking documentary about a current criminal case in Texas before the film is released. We are also fortunate that both the filmmaker and one of the appellate attorneys joined us for an interesting discussion about the case, the film, capital cases in general, and the criminal justice system.