Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 23 November 2014

Death row Brit's last-ditch appeal

British grandmother Linda Carty who is on death row in Texas
British grandmother Linda Carty who is on death row in Texas

A British grandmother on death row is to lodge a last-ditch appeal with the US Supreme Court in a bid to save her life.

Linda Carty was convicted in 2002 over the abduction and murder of a 25-year-old woman after a trial which campaigners say was "catastrophically flawed".

A video plea on behalf of the 51-year-old will be submitted to the Supreme Court alongside the appeal from her legal team and an amicus brief from the British Government. If it fails, Carty could be executed within months.

Carty was convicted over the kidnap and murder of Joana Rodriguez, who was seized alongside her four-day-old son by three men on 16 May 2001.

The baby was later found unharmed in a car, but Rodriguez was killed, having suffocated with duct-tape over her mouth and a plastic bag placed around her head.

Prosecutors argued that the men were hired by Carty who, unable to get pregnant herself, intended to "cut the baby out" of the woman and pass it off as her own.

Carty has always maintained that she was framed over the murder by the men who carried out the abduction due to her earlier work as an informant for the Drug Enforcement Agency.

She had been employed by the authorities to befriend suspected drug dealers in a bid to obtain information from them.

The request for a retrial is based around the belief that Carty was given an incompetent defence lawyer during the original trial and that the British Government were wrongfully prevented from providing support.

Carty herself speaks on the video submission to the Supreme Court. In it she appeals to the Supreme Court to stop her execution. But she adds: "If I have to die, I pray that my family and my mum and my daughter will not look and feel ashamed of their daughter or their mother because I was guilty, but realises that the state of Texas has failed me."

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