Case Updates: Kimberly McCarthy, Rigoberto Avila, and Duane Buck

It’s been an eventful week for Texas death penalty cases.  On Tuesday, June 20, Kimberly McCarthy’s attorney filed an appeal to the Dallas trial court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in an attempt to stop her execution, which is scheduled to occur next Wednesday, June 26.  If it proceeds, it will be the 500th execution in Texas since 1982.

The appeal argues that the jury selection process in her 2002 capital trial was tainted by racial discrimination and that she received ineffective legal representation both during her trial and in earlier stages of her appeals.

McCarthy, an African American woman, was sentenced to death in Dallas County for the 1997 murder of Dorothy Booth, a white woman, by a jury that was all white but for one person. Dallas County is notorious for its longstanding practice of excluding African Americans from criminal juries.  In Ms. McCarthy’s 2002 capital trial, the state employed this practice to exclude three of only four non-white potential jurors.

Read more in the Houston Chronicle, the Austin Chronicle, and the Guardian. (Links courtesy of Steve Hall at StandDown Texas.)

Earlier posts on the case of Kimberly McCarthy are available here.

***

In El Paso, a state district judge granted a motion to withdraw the July 10 execution date of Rigoberto Avila, Jr., in order to give his attorneys more time to litigate new scientific evidence relevant to the merits of his case.

***

Finally, last night, June 20, 2013,  Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN aired a segment on the case of Duane Buck. Watch the first half of the segment at:

http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2013/06/20/inmate-on-death-row-because-hes-black/?hpt=ac_t1

 
Watch the second half, including an interview with Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin, at:
A rough transcript of both segments is available here.
 
Sign the Change.org petition calling for a new sentencing hearing for Duane Buck!