Target: Rick Perry and the Texas Board of Pardons
Goal: Stop the execution of Kimberly McCarthy, a woman sentenced to death whose murder confession was obtained under questionable circumstances.
On January 29 – only weeks from now – a Texas death row inmate, Kimberly McCarthy, is scheduled to die by lethal injection. She is now a 51-year old woman, on death row in Texas for a crime she allegedly committed in the summer of 1997. According to the prosecutor, Kimberly called up her next-door neighbor, 71 year old Dorothy Booth, and asked to borrow some sugar. But when she came over, she fatally stabbed Dorothy five times, and cut off her finger to take her wedding ring (which she would later pawn for $200). Kimberly, allegedly, after the killing, took Dorothy’s white Mercedes to a drug house, hoping to trade it in for crack; she then used her neighbor’s credit card at the local liquor store. Kimberly was convicted of capital murder because the jury found her crime to be particularly heinous.
According to a police officer’s testimony during her trial, Kimberly also allegedly promised him her murder confession in exchange for crack. This “confession” was clearly questionable, or at least the circumstances under which it was obtained, since she was denied legal representation at the time of her confession. Her conviction was overturned, but only temporarily. In 2002, the court found that despite the illicit ways of obtaining her confession, it was “powerful enough to establish her guilt of capital murder”; she was retried, convicted and sentenced to death once more.
Whether or not she committed a heinous crime, we do not know. Either way, it does not morally justify the state of Texas doing something as heinous as taking her life as punishment. Since Texas resumed capital punishment in 1976, 492 persons have been executed. There are currently 10 women on death row in Texas; however, McCarthy is alone in having an execution date. And she is one too many. By signing this petition, you are taking a stand against the death penalty in its entirety. To quote Amnesty International: “the death penalty is the ultimate, irreversible denial of human rights.” Call on the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, to stop this atrocity and spare the life of Kimberly McCarthy.
Dear Rick Perry and the Texas Board of Pardons,
The United States is the only Western democracy that still uses the death penalty, and it is one of the most frequent users in the world. As you know, Texas is responsible for a large part of those statistics. I urge you to change that.
Many US states are considering reforming or abolishing capital punishment in 2013. Even your own former District Attorneys, Grant Jones and Sam Millsap encourage you to reconsider the death penalty. Listen to them, and to human rights organizations around the country and the world, and stop the execution of Kimberly McCarthy.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Encyclopedia Britannica Blog