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A Mexican woman is exonerated in Texas after 20 years of having been convicted of murder

Rosa Estela Olvera Jiménez is exonerated in Texas, after 20 years of having convicted her of murder
Photo: Innocence Project

The Travis County District Court decided to dismiss the murder charge against the Mexican Rosa Estela Olvera Jiménez, who was sentenced in 2003 to 99 years in prison, accused of the homicide by drowning of a minor. 

Represented by the New York-based nonprofit Innocence Project, Olvera Jimenez was released in 2021 by Austin District Judge Karen Sage, 18 years after being incarcerated.

The foregoing, after considering that there was no crime to prosecute and that the Mexican woman was innocent, based on scientific evidence issued by experts who repeatedly confirmed that the incident in which the minor died had actually been an accident and not a homicide.

In the original trial of Mrs. Olvera Jiménez, the Prosecutor's Office at the time presented erroneous testimony stating that it was physically impossible for the minor to have accidentally drowned, for which reason she was found guilty.

This exoneration stems from the decision last May of the Texas Court of Appeals, which annulled the original conviction and ruled that the State Attorney's Office had used false testimonies at the time to convict the compatriot, for which the case returned to the Travis District Court for review. 

In that same instance, the District Attorney's Office decided to dismiss the charges, arguing that false medical testimonies were considered in the process, for which reason the judge and the defense agreed to conclude the case with the exoneration of the charges.

In her speech, Judge Karen Sage requested a public apology from Rosa Estela Olvera Jiménez for the failure in the criminal proceedings against her and which kept her in prison for 18 years.

“No crime was committed here? Mrs. Jimenez is innocent," Judge Sage said.

Through a statement, the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Relations indicated that the General Consulate of Mexico in Austin had been aware of the case since 2003, and since then provided the corresponding consular assistance. 

In this regard, it stated that it maintained constant communication with Mrs. Olvera Jiménez and her next of kin, as well as with her defense attorneys. 

In addition, he said, financial support was provided to the case and high-level efforts were made before immigration authorities in 2021 when he obtained his freedom, so that he would remain in the United States and thus face and conclude his criminal process, in addition to being by the side of his children. , with whom he had not lived since 2003.

“The Government of Mexico is pleased with this judicial decision, which finally offers justice to the compatriot and the correct due process in her case. The important work of the Innocence Project organization of New York is recognized, who at no time stopped believing in the innocence of Mrs. Olvera Jiménez and were constantly presenting evidence and legal arguments in various judicial instances to prove the errors committed in the criminal process », highlighted the Foreign Ministry.

Finally, he stated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the Consulate General of Mexico in Austin, will continue to follow up on the case and the health situation of Mrs. Olvera Jiménez.

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Pamela Cruz
Pamela Cruz
Editor-in-Chief of Peninsula 360 Press. A communicologist by profession, but a journalist and writer by conviction, with more than 10 years of media experience. Specialized in medical and scientific journalism at Harvard and winner of the International Visitors Leadership Program scholarship from the U.S. government.

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