Grim New Milestone in Texas; UPDATED

Update It's over:

She was pronounced dead at 6:37 p.m. CDT, 20 minutes after Texas prison officials began administering a single lethal dose of pentobarbital.

Original Post This evening, 52-year old Kimberly McCarthy will become the 500th person executed by the state of Texas since the death penalty resumed in 1976.


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In 1998, Kimberly was convicted and sentenced to death for the July 1997 murder of retired college psychology professor Dorothy Booth. Her first conviction was thrown out because statements she made to police after asking for an attorney were admitted into evidence at the trial. She was re-tried and convicted again in 2002.
In the 2002 re-trial, eleven of the twelve jurors were white. Her attorney, Maurie Levin, has argued that the prosecution improperly excluded black jurors and that Kimberly's incompetent trial lawyer failed to object to prosecutions illegal behavior. But that appeal failed.



On Tuesday, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals declined to reconsider its denial a day earlier of McCarthy's appeal, saying her claims should have been raised previously.
Levin, a University of Texas law professor, said because the court's ruling focused on a procedural and not a substantive issue, the case cannot be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
"The shameful errors that plague Ms. McCarthy's case — race bias, ineffective counsel and courts unwilling to exercise meaningful oversight of the system — reflect problems that are central to the administration of the death penalty as a whole. For this to be the emblem of Texas' 500th execution is something all Texans should be ashamed of," Levin said.

Unless Governor Perry offers a last-minute 30 day reprieve, Kimberly McCarthy will be executed at 6pm Central Time.




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