Hulu has acquired the rights to The State of Texas vs. Melissa, Sabrina Van Tassel’s documentary that took the festival circuit by storm, as per a Variety exclusive. The French-American filmmaker-journalist’s feature won best documentary at Raindance Festival and was selected for Tribeca and France’s Deauville Film Festivals, among 20 others. The State of Texas vs. Melissa will premiere April 15th on Hulu.
Van Tassel’s poignant and pertinent documentary exposes the U.S. justice system while telling the story of Melissa Lucio. Lucio is the first Hispanic woman to be put on death row in Texas, the state with the highest number of executions since ‘76. Lucio was convicted of murdering her two-year-old daughter in a homicide case that many believe to have been politically motivated and grossly mishandled. 13 years later, the docu captures Lucio’s last appeal as the case is escalated to the Supreme Court.
Melissa Lucio’s case gained a lot of attention in social justice and wrongful incarceration activist groups, including Innocence Project. One of Innocence Project’s board members Jason Flom who also founded Lava Records and runs the podcast Wrongful Convictions, remains an adamant defender of Lucio’s.
In regard to Van Tassel’s docu, he stated “She[Lucio] was a victim of a vicious and corrupt prosecutor who himself is currently serving time in federal prison; an incompetent and quite possibly compromised defense attorney; junk science; and above all — a society in which the odds were stacked against her from birth.”
The State of Texas vs. Melissa is produced by Vito Films and Tahli Films, in association with Andaman Films. Watch it today on Hulu.