Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Texas prepares to execute 500th inmate


< Previous Page


"Texas continues to march to a different beat," as other states drop the death penalty, says Longmire, a criminal justice professor at nearby Sam Houston State University. He calls the execution total "staggering."

McCarthy, convicted of killing a 71-year-old neighbor during a 1997 robbery, is among eight inmates scheduled for execution over the next four months. She would be the first woman put to death in the U.S. in three years and the 13th since the Supreme Court allowed capital punishment to resume.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

McCarthy, 52, was condemned for using a butcher knife and candelabra to beat and fatally stab retired college professor Dorothy Booth at the victim’s Lancaster home. Evidence showed the former nursing home therapist used the knife to sever Booth’s finger to steal her wedding ring.

McCarthy, who is linked to two other slayings, has had her execution date pushed back twice this year. Her attorney, Maurie Levin, has been trying to halt her execution again, contending black jurors improperly were excluded from her trial by Dallas County prosecutors. But the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals this week rejected the latest appeal, saying the claims should have been raised previously.

Levin said there has been a "pervasive influence of race in administration of the death penalty and the inadequacy of counsel — a longstanding issue here."

Even remarkable incidents in the death ritual can become mundane in the steady procession.

In 2000, Ponchai Wilkerson stunned officials when he spit out a small handcuff key he had kept hidden in his mouth as he prepared to die.

"In another state you live with that for a long time," said Willett, who became warden at the Huntsville Unit in 1998 and oversaw 89 executions. Here in Texas, another one is coming a few days later and you’ve forgotten that one before."




Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.