Please Save Linda Carty - British Grandmother Facing Execution In TexasI’m appalled by the tragic story of Linda Carty, which recently featured on British TV recently. As summarised in the Guardian newspaper, she is a British citizen born in the West Indies and sent to death row in Texas in 2002. She's due to be executed for her involvement in the murder of a woman from whom it is alleged Carty was planning to steal her newborn son. Film-maker Steve Humphries concentrates on how a defence from one of the state's capital defence attorneys who's had over 20 other clients end up on death row, and evidence given by the gang who it is said broke into the woman's home with her, led to the conviction.
There are a number of campaigns to save her from execution, including Reprieve http://www.reprieve.org.uk/cases/lindacarty/. Please sign the petition at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/savelindacarty/
According to the Daily Telegraph, “The British grandmother is incarcerated behind the razor-wire of Mountain View prison, Texas, awaiting the decision of a judge in Houston about the date of her execution. The 51-year-old, known as prisoner No 999406, was convicted of masterminding the fatal kidnapping of Joana Rodriguez, her 25-year-old neighbour who was seized by three men along with her four-day-old son in 2001. Ms Rodriguez was later found dead from Suffocation, with duct tape over her mouth and a plastic bag around her head. Prosecutors convinced a jury that Carty, a former primary school teacher, had paid the three men to carry out the attack as part of a plot to claim Ms Rodriguez’s child as her own. There was no forensic evidence linking her to the crime, but the three attackers testified that Carty had hired them to carry out the kidnapping as part of a plea bargain that saw them spared the death penalty.
According to Reprieve, Linda was forced to accept a local court-appointed lawyer, Jerry Guerinot, whose incompetence has already led to 20 of his clients ending up on death row, more than any other defence lawyer in the US. Guerinot's catalogue of serious failings in Linda's case includes:
• Failure to spot obvious flaws and inconsistencies in the prosecution case;
• Failure to spend more than 15 minutes with Linda before the trial;
- had he investigated her case properly he would have known she had an allergy to chocolate, but in the trial he claimed he had had to bribe her with chocolate to get her to speak to him ! He was also awarded expenses to go to St Kitts find evidence but did not go.
• Failure to investigate key mitigating evidence;
• Failure to inform Linda, a British citizen, of her right to consular assistance; and
• Failure to inform Linda’s husband of his right not to testify against his wife.
The utter implausibility of this theory should have been obvious: Joana Rodriguez had already given birth to the child, as Linda clearly knew, being her neighbour. Since the baby would be a difference race to Linda, she could not possibly pass it off as her own. When the prosecution produced “the scissors” that Linda was supposedly going to use to cut the child out, Guerinot failed to point out that they were bandage scissors, with a rounded end, obviously useless for any such purpose.
Despite the fact that Linda’s life was at stake, an investigator from Guerinot’s office spoke to Linda for the first time, just briefly, only a couple of weeks before her trial. Guerinot himself met with Linda for only 15 minutes before trial. According to Guerinot he tried to talk to Linda but she refused until bribed with a bar of chocolate. As with so many matters, Guerinot could not even make up a story effectively – Linda is allergic to chocolate.