First Woman In U.S. to Be Executed Since 2005
On Jan. 29 the state [of Texas] is scheduled to carry out its 493rd execution since reinstatement of the death penalty, the first of eight already scheduled for 2013. Kimberly Lagayle McCarthy would be the first woman executed in Texas since 2005.
McCarthy, previously married to New Black Panther Party founder Aaron Michaels, was convicted and sentenced to die for the 1997 robbery and stabbing murder of her neighbor, 71-year-old retired college professor Dorothy Booth. According to the state, McCarthy had a crack cocaine problem and used a ploy – a request to borrow sugar – to gain entrance to Booth’s home. Once inside, the state says, she immediately attacked Booth, stabbing her five times and cutting off her finger so she could steal Booth’s ring. McCarthy also took Booth’s car and credit cards and stole several other items from the home, all of which she pawned off for drugs, she told police.
McCarthy’s original 1998 conviction was overturned by the Court of Criminal Appeals, which ruled that the trial court violated McCarthy’s due process and right against self-incrimination by admitting into evidence a statement McCarthy made to police after she had “unambiguously invoked her right to legal counsel,” according to a July 2012 opinion from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. McCarthy was retried and again sentenced to die.
Although the act of committing a murder in the course of robbery is what made McCarthy’s a death-eligible case, it seems likely that her jury may have been more inclined to invoke the ultimate punishment after prosecutors offered evidence during the punishment phase of McCarthy’s trial that she may have been responsible for the murders of two other elderly women, an 81-year-old and an 85-year-old, a decade before, also in an effort to find money for drugs. Whether McCarthy did actually commit those murders remains an open question; she has never been tried for either crime.
McCarthy’s last federal appeal was denied in July 2012, and a writ of certiorari filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking it to block her execution, was denied in the second week of January.
Petition on Change.Org at
“The family, friends and supporters of Kimberly McCarthy are petitioning Governor Rick Perry and the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole in effort to save Kimberly from being put to death by the State of Texas. Kimberly suffered from a severe addiction to crack cocaine in the 1990’s, and her life went into a downward spiral, into the underworld of drugs. Her association with the wrong people coupled with her out of control drug use became a lethal combination which led to tragedy. Prior to her drug use Kimberly had no criminal record and was in the field of helping and healing the sick as an occupational therapist! When she was introduced to drugs her life took a dark and destructive turn that led to tragedy! A tragedy that she lives with daily and is deeply remorseful for. Over the years Kimberly’s faith in God has strengthened. Her spirit and personality touch each and every person she encounters. We are asking that Kimberly’s sentence be commuted. That the State of Texas show mercy!! Killing Kimberly will not bring the victim back. It will only create more suffering and heartache. More victims. 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.