The State of Texas is scheduled to execute Kimberly McCarthy on Tuesday, January 29, 2013, despite troubling questions about racial bias in the jury selection process. Please take action now by calling Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins and urging him to request a stay of execution.
Background on the Case
Kimberly McCarthy was convicted of the 1997 murder of Dorothy Booth in Dallas County. Her original conviction was reversed on the basis of the erroneous admission of a statement she made upon arrest. McCarthy was again convicted and sentenced to death in 2002 after a trial in which the guilt phase lasted only one day.
Troubling questions surround the jury selection process in her trial – of the 12 jurors selected, all but one were white. According to McCarthy’s attorneys, the state struck three non-white prospective jurors (21% of its total strikes). Of the 64 people questioned on individual voir dire, only 4 were not white. Of these individuals, only 3 were African American. None of these figures reflect the racial demographics of Dallas County.
There is a long, documented history of racially-biased jury selection practices in Dallas County. The clemency video of Thomas Miller-El, who was eventually removed from death row because of these practices, features interviews with Dallas County jurors, judges, and prosecutors about the discrimination in the jury selection system.
McCarthy is one of ten women currently on death row in Texas. Late last week, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles unanimously rejected her petition for clemency. Since 1982, the State has executed three women, including Frances Newton in 2005.
On Sunday, January 27, 2013, Dr. Frederick D. Haynes, III, the Senior Pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas, spoke about the case of Kimberly McCarthy during his sermon. Please join Dr. Haynes and many others in appealing to Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins to request a stay of execution for Kimberly McCarthy.
Please call or fax Mr. Watkins to express your support for a Texas Racial Justice Act and to request a stay of execution for Kimberly McCarthy, who was convicted and sentenced to death by a jury from which African Americans were excluded on the basis of their race. If we believe in a Racial Justice Act, we must also believe Ms. McCarthy does not deserve to be executed.
Contact information for Mr. Watkins:
The Hon. Craig Watkins
Dallas County District Attorney’s Office
214-653-3600 – phone
214-653-2924 – fax
Thank you for taking action to stop this execution. Stay tuned to TCADP for any updates on this case.