Court stays female execution at Huntsville Unit
Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 31, 2013 01:01
The execution of convicted murderer Kimberly McCarthy was postponed until April 3 after the U.S. District Court in Dallas County approved her stay, according to Huntsville Unit spokesman Jason Clark. McCarthy’s execution was supposed to take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
The halt came just after 1 p.m., according to Clark.
“We were notified that the trial court was going to modify the execution date,” said Clark. “It pushes the execution date back to April 3 and gives… Ms. McCarthy’s attorneys time to file additional appeals.”
Clark said that McCarthy was calm and curious about the execution process on Tuesday morning. After her stay was approved she was pleased that her attorney could now work on her appeals.
McCarthy was convicted of capital murder in 1997 after being connected to the weapon used in the killing of Dorothy Booth, a 71-year-old retired psychology professor, in Dallas, Texas.
An appeals court reversed her conviction in 2001 on the ground that her confession was obtained illegally after she had requested counsel. After retrial she was convicted again in 2002 and sentenced to death due to substantial evidence collected at the crime scene and McCarthy’s home.
A case was filed by the defense again in a US District Court in May 2011 for a writ of habeas corpus which challenges the courts ruling on her incarceration. The request was denied by the court.
The defense now hopes to receive an appeal on the grounds of racial discrimination. In an article published by Huffington Post, Maurie Levin, McCarthy’s attorney, said, “Of the twelve jurors seated at trial, all were white, except one, and eligible non-white jurors were excluded from serving by the state.”
In response to McCarthy’s sentence, activist Sandra Inderbitzin created a movement on change.org petitioning Governor Perry to stop and commute her execution permanently.
“Killing Kimberly will not bring the victim back,” said Inderbitzin in the petition. “It will only create more suffering and heartache.”
The petition states that due to her cocaine addiction McCarthy wasn’t in her right mind during the time in her life when she committed the murder and that she has become spiritual since her conviction.
“Over the years Kimberly’s faith in God has strengthened,” said Inderbitzin. “She could be such a positive influence to others. God can use her to touch the lives of other women headed down the road to destruction.”
McCarthy was transferred to female death row in Gatesville, Texas after the announcement on Tuesday where she will stay until April 3 unless an appeal is made, according to Clark.