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Female execution postponed

Kimberly McCarthy is shown in this undated Texas Department of Criminal Justice photograph. (VIA: Reuters)

Kimberly McCarthy is shown in this undated Texas Department of Criminal Justice photograph. (VIA: Reuters)

UPDATED: The CBS station in Texas reports that Judge Larry Mitchell issued a temporary reprieve for 51-year-old Kimberly McCarthy less than five hours before she could have been taken to the death chamber.

The execution has been halted until April 3. McCarthy’s lawyers contend the jury that convicted her of murder was improperly selected on the basis of race.

AUSTIN, Texas (WTVR)—On Tuesday, Jan. 29, the 13th woman in United States history will be executed by the justice system. 

Kimberly McCarthy is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection in Texas on Tuesday.

McCarthy will face execution for the stabbing murder of her 71-year-old neighbor in 1997. She will be the first woman put to death in Texas in more than eight years.

A CBS Texas station reports that evidence surfaced during the sentencing phase of McCarthy’s trial that tied her to two similar murders a decade earlier.

The last woman executed was Teresa Lewis, of Jararat, Virginia, on September 23, 2010.

At that time Lewis was the first woman to be executed in the U.S. in five years, and was killed for arranging the murder of her husband and stepson for a quarter-million dollars in insurance payments.

The 41-year-old grandmother’s guilt in the double murder of her husband and stepson for their money had never been in doubt. But the two men who actually carried out the shootings, in 2002, escaped Death Row while psychologists who tested Lewis found her to be borderline mentally retarded. CBS 6 reporter Catie Beck witnesses Lewis’ execution and wrote a story for Daily Mail, which you can read here

Why are so few women executed when compared to male statistics? 

“Although women commit about 10 percent of murders, capital cases also require some aggravating factor like rape, robbery, or physical abuse,” said Richard Dieter, executive director of the information center, told Reuters,  adding that women usually have not committed a long list of prior felonies.

Read more on this story here.

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