Kimberly McCarthy’s Execution Tonight in Texas is State’s 500th

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

Texas marked a milestone tonight as the state carried out their 500th execution since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.

The inmate executed, Kimberly L. McCarthy, was only the fifth woman to be put to death in the Lone Star State since 1854 and the 13th to be executed nationwide in the past 40 years. The last time a woman was executed was the lethal injection of Teresa Lewis in Virginia on Sept. 23, 2010. The last time a woman was executed in Texas was in 2005.

McCarthy, who was previously married to New Black Panther Party founder Aaron Michaels, was one of only 10 women on death row in Texas.

She was originally slated for lethal injection Jan. 29th, but received a stay in April, and then another postponement. Her attorneys tried to argue that McCarthy, who is black, received inadequate counsel and was convicted by an almost all white jury. However her appeals have all been denied and her attorneys have said there will be no stay tonight there were no stays this evening.

McCarthy was sentenced to death for the fatal stabbing and bludgeoning of her 71-year-old neighbor, Dorothy Booth. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas described the crime as follows:

“On July 21, 1997 McCarthy entered the home of her 71-year-old neighbor Dorothy Booth under the pretense of borrowing some sugar and then stabbed Mrs. Booth five times, hit her in the face with a candelabrum, cut off her left ring finger in order to take her diamond ring, and nearly severed her left little finger as well. McCarthy then took Mrs. Booth’s purse and its contents, along with her wedding ring and fled in her car. Later, McCarthy bought drugs with the stolen money, used the stolen credit cards, and pawned the stolen wedding ring.”

According to the state, the crime was fueled by drugs, as McCarthy had a crack cocaine problem and needed money to buy more. Prosecutors say McCarthy entered the home under the pretense of asking to borrow some sugar. On Nov. 17, 1998, a Dallas County jury found McCarthy guilty of capital murder and after a separate punishment hearing, she was sentenced to death.

While McCarthy’s case has not become particularly high-profile, her status as the 500th execution in the state with the most active execution chamber in the nation has drawn attention in the media both nationally and abroad. For comparison, Virginia, the state with the second largest number of executions, has executed 110 people.

Her attorney, Maurie Levin, told the LA Times, “she has become a symbol because she is the 500th execution. Perhaps that is fitting, perhaps that is extra shameful. It certainly should be a reminder to anybody that the system is profoundly problematic and is not one we should be comfortable with.”

McCarthy was pronounced dead at 6:37 p.m., 20 minutes after the drugs began to flow.

2 thoughts on “Kimberly McCarthy’s Execution Tonight in Texas is State’s 500th

  1. If she was convicted by an all white jury, it will be interesting to see if those morons that killed the district attorney (s) in Kaufman county get the death penalty. They were both white and drove a car similar to one that occupied a nearby church in my area and later was equipped with a radio antenna that drug the back bumper.

    Will they have to go to England for driving lessons to get the death serum?

  2. Ginny says:

    I’m a 50-year old black woman and the only symbol Kimberly McCarthy represents is that of an out of control crack addict who got what she deserved.

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