Texas is scheduled to perform its 500th execution on Wednesday, when 52-year-old Kimberly McCarthy is scheduled to receive a lethal injection for the 1997 knife slaying of a 70-year-old woman in her home.
The motive was robbery. According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Death Row website, the Dallas County woman stabbed her victim multiple times and then took her credit cards and vehicle.
McCarthy was previously scheduled to die earlier this year, but her execution was delayed to allow her attorneys to argue that black jurors were improperly excluded from her trial. On Monday, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in Austin denied the appeal, saying that she should have raised the issue much earlier.
Now, because of the rescheduling, one of the relatively few women to be scheduled for execution may also become the 500th person executed in the state of Texas.
In recent years, some states have placed a moratorium on the death penalty because DNA science and groups like the Innocence Project have raised the specter of wrongful convictions.
According to an extensive USA Today report, the death penalty is still available in 32 states. However, there’s a growing gap in how often it may be used.
Texas alone has executed almost 40 percent of the people put to death in 1,300 US executions since 1977, when a Supreme Court ruling allowed states to resume applying the death penalty.
How likely is a last-minute reprieve for Kimberly McCarthy?
It’s difficult to say. Here’s a video report on her previously scheduled execution:
Texas news source Click2Houston reported that her attorney, Maurie Levin, is still reviewing their options.
But her time may run out on Wednesday night, forcing her to take a grim place in history as the 500th person to be executed in the state of Texas.
[knife photo by Oksana Bratanova via Shutterstock]