Archive | Thomas Miller-El

28 January 2013 ~ Comments Off

State of Texas Scheduled to Execute Kimberly McCarthy

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.

Action Request

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.

 

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02 May 2007 ~ Comments Off

Update on Anthony Graves

Article from Austin Chronicle
BY JORDAN SMITH

Unbelievably, a retrial of the capital murder case against Anthony Graves is set to go forward this summer, even though a special prosecutor admitted on April 13 that crucial evidence in the case – including the alleged murder weapon – is lost and likely will never be found.

Graves’ 1994 conviction in connection with a gruesome multiple murder in Burleson County, was overturned last year by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upon a finding that the state had committed prosecutorial misconduct, in part by keeping from the defense crucial witness statements that could have affected the outcome of the trial.

In the wake of the appellate-court opinion, the Burleson Co. District Attorney’s Office stepped aside – after a judge disqualified one of the office’s attorneys – prompting the appointment of special prosecutor Patrick Batchelor to take over. Batchelor is likely best known as the attorney who secured a death sentence for Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in 2004 even though evidence suggests that he was wrongfully convicted. (Indeed, there’s little evidence to suggest that there was even a crime for which to convict. Willingham was tried and convicted of the arson-murder of his three children, but an investigation led by the Innocence Project determined the fire was likely accidental.)

Batchelor told District Judge Reva Towslee-Corbett that he will “account” for the missing evidence by May 1, reports the Houston Chronicle, but made no assurance that the evidence would actually be found. Among the missing, and crucial, pieces of evidence are the skullcaps of the victims, their clothing, fingerprints, bullets taken from the victims, and a bloody hammer and knife that prosecutors allege are the murder weapons. In short, the state is seeking to retry Graves – and is seeking the death penalty – without the benefit of any physical evidence to back up its theory of the crime. It is a stunning admission – but one that sources tell us is not exactly new information. Sources say there have been rumors around Burleson Co. since late last year that the county deliberately destroyed evidence in the case. Batchelor noted the “change of jail [facilities in the county] and personnel” since Graves and co-defendant Robert Carter were arrested in 1992 for the murder of six people in Somerville. Carter initially implicated Graves in the crime but subsequently recanted that claim on numerous occasions, including just before his execution in 2000….

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