Race Bias? Execution Postponed

Update: McCarthy's execution has been rescheduled for April 3. Lawyers plan to file an appeal based on racial bias in the selection of her jury. 

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Kimberly McCarthy (Texas Department of Criminal Justice)

Update: Wednesday, Jan. 30, 11:00 a.m. ET: A state district judge has rescheduled Kimberly McCarthy's execution for April 3 to allow her lawyers time to file an appeal focused on whether her predominantly white jury was improperly selected on the basis of race.

Earlier:

McCarthy is set to be executed by lethal injection on Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET. While every execution is significant, hers is getting special attention because it will make her the first woman to be put to death in the United States in more than two years, Reuters reports.

The 51-year-old Texas inmate, who was convicted of the murder of her elderly neighbor, had an initial conviction overturned because no attorney was present when she was questioned. She was found guilty again at a second trial.

Women are rarely executed in the United States. Only 12 female inmates were put to death since capital punishment was reinstated by the Supreme Court in 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center ...

McCarthy, 51, was convicted of entering the Lancaster, Texas home of her 71-year-old neighbor, Dorothy Booth, on July 21, 1997, under the pretense of borrowing some sugar. She then stabbed Booth five times, according to the Texas attorney general's summary of the case.

She also cut off Booth's left ring finger in order to take her diamond ring, which she later pawned.

McCarthy also was believed to be responsible for the murders of two other elderly women, one using a meat tenderizer as a weapon and another using a claw hammer, according to the Attorney General's summary.

McCarthy was found guilty in 1998 by a Dallas County jury of murdering Booth and sentenced to death. Her conviction was overturned by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in 2001 because no attorney was present when she was questioned after the crime even though she had requested a lawyer, court documents show. She was tried a second time in 2002, was again found guilty by a Dallas County jury, and again sentenced to death. 

Read more at the Huffington Post.