Bianca Jagger, an international human right’s activist, Council of Europe Goodwill Ambassador, and the founder and chair of the Biana Jagger Human Rights Foundation, wrote a death row profile in the April 27, 2010 issue of the Huffington Post titled “A Case for the Supreme Court'”. The article highlights the case of Texas death row inmate Linda Carty, a poor black women born in the Caribbean island of St. Kitts who worked as a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) informant before being convicted and sentenced to death in the 2001 kidnapping and murder of Joana Rodriguez. Carty asserts that she was framed of the crime as a result of her work for the DEA; Jagger argues that the abuses which occurred in Carty’s trial deserve the addition of the U.S. Supreme Court before her execution, scheduled later this year in Texas .
Jagger’s article highlights the abuses of both national and international law which Carty has experienced since her arrest in 2001. Carty is a British citizen, however local authorities failed to notify British officials of Carty’s arrest, violating the US/UK bilateral Treaty. Also, by not allowing Carty to contact the British Consulate, authorities violated the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations-the legal precedence which requires local authorities to inform foreign nationals being held on criminal charges of no only their rights abroad but also their right to consult with their country’s diplomats in order to obtain a fair trial.
Additionally, Carty was appointed criminal defense attorney Jerry Guerinot, who has more clients on death row than any other lawyer in the United States; as such he did little in compiling Carty’s defense. From failing to meet his client until two weeks before the trial began, to not fully investigating mitigating circumstances or flaws in the prosecution’s case, Guerinot did not provide Ms. Carty the adequate necessary for such a contentious case.
The article, available here, is a poignant example of the inconsistencies and flaws of the U.S. criminal justice system and more specifically the missteps of a system which results in possible wrongful executions in the state of Texas.