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First Woman Set to Be Executed in U.S. in Three Years

Kimberly McCarthy
Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice

Kimberly McCarthy, who was convicted and sentenced to death for the robbery and murder of Dorothy Booth in 1997, will be executed by the state of Texas Tuesday night. She will be the first woman since 2010 to be put to death in the United States.

McCarthy, a former crack-cocaine addict, was also connected through DNA evidence to (but never indicted for) the murders of 81-year-old Maggie Harding and 85-year-old Jettie Lucas in December 1988. Booth was 71 years old when McCarthy fatally stabbed her after cutting off her finger to remove her wedding ring.

The brutality of the attack likely played into McCarthy’s receiving a death sentence. The former Dallas County assistant district attorney Greg Davis had this to say last week regarding McCarthy’s fate: “I remember the pain and agony that poor woman lived through before McCarthy delivered the final stab wounds. … She took the most defenseless, the most helpless people, people that trusted her, that she chose to attack.”

McCarthy’s attorney, Doug Parks, said that her drug use led to her attacking these people: “I think when she’s off dope she’s probably a pretty good person. I believe now, as I did then, that in the penitentiary, Kim would be absolutely no danger to anyone.”

Twelve women have been executed in the U.S. since 1976, when the Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment. During that time, 1,300 men have been put to death. Just 2 percent of all inmates on death row across the country as of October 1, 2012, were women.


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