Wednesday, January 30, 2013

African American Woman Gets Last-Minute Stay of Execution in Texas

Black woman gets last-minute stay of execution in Texas

Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:2AM GMT

A judge in the US state of Texas has granted a stay of execution to death row inmate Kimberly McCarthy, who was scheduled to become the first woman to be executed in the United States in nearly three years.

On Tuesday, Dallas County District Court Judge Larry Mitchell rescheduled the 51-year-old Black woman’s execution for April 3, after her lawyers asked for more time to submit an appeal on grounds of racial discrimination.

The execution was due to take place after 6:00 p.m. local time (2300 GMT) on Tuesday.

"The previous warrant of execution is hereby recalled," Judge Mitchell wrote in the order, which was issued at 1:00 p.m. local time.

"Of the twelve jurors seated at trial, all were white, except one, and eligible non-white jurors were excluded from serving by the state," University of Texas adjunct law professor Maurie Levin said.

Levin assisted in representing McCarthy, who has been on death row for 14 years.

"We are very pleased that we will now have an opportunity to present evidence of discrimination in the selection of the jury that sentenced Kimberly McCarthy to death," Levin added.

"As recognized by the US Supreme Court (Miller-El v. Dretke, 2005), these facts must be understood in the context of the troubling and long-standing history of racial discrimination in jury selection in Dallas County, including at the time of Ms. McCarthy's trial," she stated.

McCarthy was convicted of robbing, beating, and stabbing to death Dorothy Booth, a 71-year-old retired college professor, in a city near Dallas in 1997. She has also been linked to three other murders.

McCarthy is one of 10 women on death row in Texas.

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