Texas Gets Ready To Murder Its 500th Prisoner

Kimberly McCarthy will probably die on Wednesday, June 26.

The fifty-two-year-old woman is not terminally ill; she is scheduled to die by government decree for a murder she allegedly committed in 1997. This would make her the 500th prisoner to be executed by the state of Texas since the death penalty was reinstated in the U.S. in 1976.

Unless she receives a last-minute stay of execution, McCarthy will face lethal injection for the murder of her neighbor. That stay could happen: in January of this year, and again in April, she prepared herself for the death chamber, only to get a last-minute reprieve.

From The Guardian:

“She is a very spiritual person. She believes what’s meant to be is meant to be, and it’s all in God’s hands,” said Maurie Levin, McCarthy’s legal counsel since January.

Now Levin has filed a new motion to stay execution with the Texas court of criminal appeals. The filing argues that McCarthy has suffered from two fundamental flaws that persistently crop up in death penalty cases.

“As it turns out, Kimberly McCarthy is an African American woman scheduled to be the 500th person to be executed in Texas. Her case raises two of the most typical issues in the administration of the death penalty: race discrimination and the quality of counsel,” Levin told the Guardian.

Specifically, the application for a stay of execution alleges that prosecutors in McCarthy’s case deliberately set out to distort the racial composition of the jury as part of an ongoing culture of discrimination. That’s because while Dallas County, the area around the city of Dallas, where the trial was held, is 69% white and 23% black, only one juror in the case was African-American.

I am against the death penalty in all cases, since I believe no government has the right to deliberately take a person’s life. But in addition it is well-known that two of the major reasons to end capital punishment are:

1. Inadequate Legal Representation

Perhaps the most important factor in determining whether a defendant will receive the death penalty is the quality of the legal representation he or she is provided.

2. Racial Disparities

The race of the victim and the race of the defendant in capital cases are major factors in determining who is sentenced to die in this country.

The United States is the only industrialized country in the world still using the death penalty, with 3,125 people currently on death row. Progress is being made, however, and Maryland is the most recent state to abolish capital punishment. After passage of the law, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley wrote:

Evidence shows that the death penalty is not a deterrent, it cannot be administered without racial bias, and it costs three times as much as life in prison without parole. What’s more, there is no way to reverse a mistake if an innocent person is put to death.

Seventeen other U.S. states have banned capital punishment, including in the last six years, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Illinois. (The District of Columbia has also rejected capital punishment.)

Texas, however, continues to show more enthusiasm for capital punishment than any other state.

To quote Eugene Robinson, from The Washington Post in September, 2011:

There was a chilling moment in a recent GOP candidates’ debate when Texas Gov. Rick Perry was asked about having authorized 234 executions, more than any other governor in modern U.S. history. The crowd, drawn largely from Tea Party ranks, cheered this record as if it were a great accomplishment.

“I’ve never struggled with that at all,” Perry said, referring to execution as “the ultimate justice.”

But he should struggle with it. We all should.

Deliberately taking another person’s life is a barbaric form of revenge. Texas should not be proud of executing 500 human beings as “the ultimate justice.” Sign the petition against Texas’s flawed execution policies.



Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for the article.

Nicole W.
Nicole W4 years ago

I'd also like to note that I'm a democrat and that I am very aware that my stance on the death penalty isn't just logically based but also emotional. Also I'm pro-choice. There, now you have all the facts so feel free to start sending me hateful messages now, but for the love of God pleasespell my name right guys.

Nicole W.
Nicole W4 years ago

Personally i think the death penalty should be legal and used in SOME cases, but only in cases where there is absolutely no doubt about the guilt (witnesses, plenty of DNA, motive, no remorse, etc..) and the crime is very, very severe (like mass shootings, continual/prolonged abuse of a child, serial killer, etc...) But this case is obviously flawed and if she is killed then that will be a huge miscarriage of justice.

Geoff P.
Past Member 4 years ago

What about the victims of these people I wonder what they would say.

Dennis D.
Dennis D4 years ago

Dale O. Deplorable how some of these very same conservatives will argue that a woman should give up her constitutional and legal rights when pregnant. Lament over every abortion. Yet see nothing wrong in executing a person. Champion the death penalty at every turn.

Dale O.

If this appears twice, apologies, but don’t see it posted…so at the risk of a repetition…

"The United States is the only industrialized country in the world still using the death penalty, with 3,125 people currently on death row." Fascinating. I don’t think that capital punishment serves much purpose except revenge. Wanda B just said: "...even if you don't like the Death Penalty, it does not matter as this is the law of the land."

Dale O.

Just because something on the books is the law, doesn't necessarily make it right or even logical. This is why many people work to change various laws. Texas prohibits having an entire Encyclopedia (Britannica) inside one's home as it tells you how to make beer. Check these other Texan laws of the land. There are many antiquated laws still on the books as no one has gotten around to changing them and many view capital punishment as antiquated as well.


Dale O.

Strange, posted a comment ...at least I thought I did...and it did not appear.

Wanda B.
Wanda Bagram4 years ago

She was executed. We can close this out now. Justice has been served, even if you don't like the Death Penalty, it does not matter as this is the law of the land.

Michael H.
Mike H4 years ago

Are you serious?