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Kimberly McCarthy

Last-minute reprieve delays execution of Texas woman

McCarthy would be fourth woman executed in Texas since 1976

By: CNHI News Service

HUNTSVILLE. Texas — A 51-year-old  woman scheduled to be executed by lethal injection Tuesday night has received a last-minute reprieve.

Kimberly McCarthy was less than five hours from being taken to the death chamber for the 1997 slaying of a neighbor. Her execution would have marked the first time in seven years that a female has been put to death in Texas.

McCarthy was convicted in the 1997 robbery, beating and fatal stabbing of a retired college psychology professor. Blood DNA evidence linked her to two other murders, but she was never tried in those cases.

State District Judge Larry Mitchell issued the reprieve. McCarthy's lawyers contend the jury that convicted her was improperly selected on the basis of race. She is black, while 11 members of the jury were white.

A new execution date has been set for April 3, said Dallas County Assistant District Attorney Shelly Yeatts.

McCarthy is still scheduled to be the 13th woman executed in the United States - the fourth in Texas - since the U.S. Supreme Court allowed capital punishment to resume in 1976.

More than 1,300 men have been executed nationwide in the same period.

McCarthy was listed among 10 women on death row in Texas.

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Details for this story were provided by The Huntsville (Texas) Item and The Associated Press 

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