According to this article, Kimberly McCarthy, the first woman scheduled to be executed in the U.S. since 2010—has been given a few extra months. She was just hours away from being lethally injected when State District Judge Larry Mitchell rescheduled her execution for April 3. This delay will allow lawyers time to determine if McCarthy’s guilt was improperly selected based on race: McCarthy is African American, and her jury was predominantly Caucasian.
In 1997, McCarthy was accused of beating, stabbing, robbing, and ultimately killing her 71-year-old neighbor in Lancaster, a Texas suburb about 15 miles outside of Dallas. This was one of three killings linked to McCarthy.
McCarthy’s lawyer was very happy with the reprieve, claiming “of the twelve jurors seated at trial, all were white, except one, and eligible non-white jurors were excluded from serving by the state. … These facts must be understood in the context of the troubling and long-standing history of racial discrimination in jury selection in Dallas County.”
If the injection had been carried out, she would have been only the fourth women executed in Texas since 1976, and the 13th nationwide. Prison spokesperson John Hurt says that McCarthy wasn’t tense or nervous, even before learning about the reprieve. However, she is very happy, stating, “There’s still work to be done on my case.”
Although Dallas County prosecutors originally contested the motion to reschedule, they are not appealing. If no irregularities are found, the execution will be carried out at the end of the 60-day extension.
Although few sentences are given the death penalty, being accused of any criminal charge is a serious event. If you’re currently facing any misdemeanor or felony charge in Texas, having an experienced lawyer working on your case can make all the difference. Contact our offices, located in San Antonio, to discuss the steps you need to take in your case.