Tuesday January 29, 2013
Texas to execute a woman, first in US since 2010
WASHINGTON - Kimberly McCarthy is set to become the first woman executed in the United States since 2010 on Tuesday after being condemned to death in Texas for murdering an elderly woman during a robbery.
McCarthy, 51, is black. Her victim, 70-year-old retired professor Dorothy Booth, was white.
McCarthy - who has been on death row for 14 years - is scheduled to be executed at 6 pm (2300 GMT) Tuesday after the US Supreme Court rejected her final appeal, prison officials said.
She will be just the 13th woman executed since the death penalty was reinstated in the United States in 1976.
McCarthy was convicted of forcing her way into her elderly neighbor's home near Dallas under the pretext of borrowing some sugar in 1997, court records show.
She then smashed Booth in the face with a candle stick, stabbed her five times and cut off her finger to steal her diamond ring.
McCarthy drove off in Booth's Mercedes and tried to buy some crack, court documents showed. She also used Booth's credit cards at least four times and pawned her wedding ring for $200 before she was caught.
Prosecutors also accused her of killing two other elderly people.
She was sentenced to death in 1998, saw her conviction overturned on appeal and then was convicted and condemned again in a second trial in 2002.
"There's a good chance that she would not be sentenced to death if tried now," said Richard Dieter, director of the Death Penalty Information Center.
"A case like this involving apparent drug addiction and other mitigating factors might well have been settled without the death penalty."
Texas was sentencing as many as 40 people to death a year before the courts began providing juries with the alternative sentence of life without parole. That number has now since dropped to about eight people a year, Dieter said.
McCarthy will be the fourth woman executed in Texas since 1976, out of a total of 493. Nine other women are among the 304 people on the state's death row. - AFP