A Texas inmate is set to become the first woman executed in the U.S. since 2010. Kimberly McCarthy will become the 13th woman in the U.S. to be put to death and the fourth in the state of Texas since 1976. She will die tonight, via lethal injection.
McCarthy was sentenced to death in 1997 for robbing, beating, and fatally stabbing her 71-year-old neighbor, Dorothy Booth. A retired psychology professor, Booth agreed to give McCarthy a cup of sugar when she was attacked with a butcher knife. The attack took place in the town of Lancaster, 15 miles south of Dallas.
Prosecutors say McCarthy forced Booth’s had onto a chopping block to cut off her finger and steal her wedding ring. The now 51-year-old once worked as a nursing home therapist, and was addicted to crack. “I remember the pain and agony that poor woman lives through before McCarthy delivered the final stab wounds,” said former Dallas County assistant district attorney, Greg Davis.
After the murder, McCarthy stole Booth’s Mercedes, drove it to Dallas, and pawned the ring for $200 to buy drugs.
Booth’s death is one of three which McCarthy has been linked to. DNA evidence has tied her the 1998 death of 81-year-old Maggie Harding, stabbed and beaten with a meat tenderizer, and 85-year-old Jettie Lucas, who was stabbed and beaten with both sides of a claw hammer.
Her execution comes after the Supreme Court refused to review her case earlier in the month, and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles denied a request for clemency.
According to lawyers for McCarthy, there was a racial aspect in the case since she is Black and all but one of 12 jurors were white. Her legal counsel reached out to Texas Gov. Rick Perry yesterday in hopes of being granted a 30-day reprieve.
Lead attorney for McCarthy, Doug Parks believes that her drug addiction is what led to the slaying. “I think when she’s off dope she’s probably a pretty great person,” he said. “I believe now, as I did then, that in the penitentiary, Kim would be absolutely no danger to anyone.”
McCarthy is the ex-wife of Aaron Michaels, founder of the New Black Panther Party. The couple separated before Booth’s murder, but he testified on McCarthy’s behalf during her trial. She is one of 10 women on death row in the state of Texas.
Click below to see a list of other women executed in the U.S. since 1976.