Texas is looking at a grim milestone tonight. If the state proceeds with the execution of Kimberly McCarthy, it will mark the 500th execution since the death penalty was reinstated in the state in 1982.
McCarthy was sentenced for robbing and stabbing to death retired psychology professor Dorothy Booth, 71, in 1997. DNA evidence also tied McCarthy to the 1988 murders of Maggie Harding, 81, and Jettie Lucas, 85. Harding was killed with a meat tenderizer, Lucas with a claw hammer. McCarthy was indicted but not tried for those killings.
In the slaying of Dorothy Booth, prosecutors demonstrated that McCarthy had stolen Booth’s Mercedes, driven to Dallas, pawned the wedding ring taken from Booth’s severed finger for $200, then spent that money at a crack house. She also used Booth’s credit cards at a liquor store.
McCarthy attributed the killing to two hypothetical drug dealers, neither of whom were proven to exist.
McCarthy’s attorneys appealed the conviction on the fact that 11 of the 12 jurors were white, that Booth was also white, and that African-American jurors had been improperly excluded.
McCarthy’s attorney, Maurie Levin claims there are no further avenues for appeal. “If there was something to appeal, I would,” said Levin.
Assuming the execution moves forward, McCarthy, 52, will be the first woman executed in the US since 2010. She will be the 13th woman nationwide—and fourth in Texas—to be executed since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. Texas, which brought the death penalty back in 1982, has executed 496 of the more than 1,300 men executed since 1976.
According to federal statistics, women account for 10% of the nation’s convicted murderers and 2% of death row inmates.