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TX: Linda Carty makes final bid to avoid execution
Sun Mar 29, 2009 14:07

British woman on death row makes final bid to avoid execution

Former primary schoolteacher wants retrial after conviction for
taking part in murder
Duncan Campbell uk, Sunday 29 March 2009

A British woman on death row in Texas made a final bid this week to
avoid execution and have her case re-tried. Her family and
campaigners claim that she was not properly represented at her
original trial and that she is innocent of the murder for which she
was convicted.

Linda Carty, 50, a former primary schoolteacher, was sentenced to
death in 2002 after being convicted of taking part in the murder of
25-year-old Joana Rodriguez. Her legal team this week filed grounds
for an appeal in a bid to overturn her conviction and death sentence
in the state with the highest rate of executions in the US.

Carty was born in St Kitts and has British citizenship as a result of
the Caribbean island's status at that time. She worked as a teacher
there before moving with her family to Houston, Texas, when she was 23.

In Houston, she was approached by the police because the man she was
dating at that time was, unknown to her, a drug dealer. She became a
confidential informant (CI), passing on information about dealers and
occasionally making test purchases of drugs on behalf of the Drugs
Enforcement Administration (DEA). As a result of this work, she
claims, she inevitably made a number of enemies.

In 2001, three men broke into the apartment where the murder victim,
Rodriguez, lived with her partner, Raymundo Cabrera. The men demanded
drugs and stole a small quantity of cash. They also beat and bound
Cabrera and his cousin, Rigoberto Cardernas, and abducted Rodriguez
and her four-day-old son, Ray. The baby was later found unharmed in a
car, but Rodriguez was suffocated to death after being bound, her
mouth duct-taped, and a plastic bag placed over her head.

The prosecution' s case was that Carty was afraid of losing her common-
law husband, Jose Corona, and thought that, if she had another baby,
he would stay with her. It was alleged that, because she was unable
to conceive, she hired the men to kidnap a pregnant Rodriguez and
remove the baby, using a pair of "surgical scissors".

Initially, Carty was represented by a local lawyer, Jerry Guerinot,
some of whose other previous clients are also now on death row.
According to the organisation Reprieve, which has taken up Carty's
case, and her current lawyers, no proper defence was mounted and she
was not aware of her rights to consular access as a British citizen.

Many of the discrepancies in the case against her were not challenged
in her trial. Most glaringly, Rodriguez had already given birth so
Carty, who lived in the same apartment complex as her, could hardly
be accused of trying to remove the baby from the womb.

Vitally, two key witnesses, her common-law husband and her DEA
contact, both of whom could have helped her case, were never
contacted by the defence team. Her DEA contact, Charlie Mathis, might
have been able to testify to the extent of Linda's DEA work but was
not asked to do so by the defence. In October 2005, Mathis swore in
an affidavit that he could have given evidence that would have
significantly aided her defence. "I found it odd that Linda's
attorneys never even attempted to contact me, let alone talk with me
about my testimony at Linda's trial," he said.

In his affidavit, Mathis stated: "I would have been willing to
testify that Linda should not have gotten the death penalty and also
would have been willing to testify that I do not believe her to be a
future danger. I would have testified that she is not a violent
person, let alone a cold-blooded murderer."

"When I began this case, I was pro-death penalty," said Mike Goldberg
of the law firm, Baker Botts, which is now representing Carty. "But
the facts are so outrageous that my firm is sparing no expense to get
Linda Carty a new trial."

Goldberg claims that key witnesses were never contacted.

Clive Stafford Smith of Reprieve said: "It is time for the British to
get seriously worried about Linda. She has not come close to a fair
hearing so far - her lawyer presented virtually no defence, and no
court has since taken her case seriously."

    • GuiltyCarla, Fri Mar 16 23:08
      She was a drug dealer, that wanted terrible a baby an stole the baby and killed the mother, both were found in her cars. She us a cunning criminal that should have executed, who speaks for the baby... more
    • Linda Carty v Quarterman Request for additional COA denied, request for oral arguments granted
    • UK government appeal for death row woman PA Sunday, 10 May 2009 The government has intervened in the case of a British woman facing the death penalty in Texas, the Foreign Office has confirmed. Linda ... more
      • I would like to add that not once has Linda mentioned the victim. All she had done is tell people she didn't do it. If that were true and she really didn't do it then she could have stopped who ever... more
      • The human face of death row (8 pictures)Petra, Fri Jun 26 14:59
        The human face of death row (8 pictures) 5 / 8 Linda Carty is a British citizen who has been on... more
        • Face-to-face with death row inmates at London show Fri Jul 3, 2009 By Julie Mollins LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Death row inmates depicted in oil paintings by British artist Claire Phillips, on view in... more
          • abusesYvette Holden, Sat Jul 4 05:56
            Why are we not appalled by prisoners being abused? Or is it only when they have been exonerated we object because now this innocent person has been tortured! Prisoners being abused is not acceptable... more
            • Re: abusesxkittenx, Sun Jul 5 10:20
              you think she will be found innocent? Linda Carty is a law onto herself and she does not help matter with her attuiude,she thinks she is above the rest of us,guily or not maybe this bring her back to ... more
              • ReplyYvette Holden, Mon Jul 6 01:52
                I know very little about this womans case so I cannot comment on guilt or innocence ( but a convicted in Texas the chances are the woman is innocent). My opinion was concerning her being abused by... more
                • Re: ReplyPetra, Mon Jul 6 16:41
                  I never saw a consequense for officals, just a "go ahead" with torture and murder .... TORTURE:... more
                  • abusesYvette Holden, Thu Jul 9 05:12
                    This just confirms what I wrote we all turn a blind eye to the abuses which is totally unacceptable but I believe prison abuses and long sentences all tie in. They dish out long sentences this makes... more
      • TX: PETITION - Free Linda CartyPetra, Fri May 15 14:16
        Free Linda Carty Target:Gov. Rick Perry, the state of Texas Sponsored by: The Hudson's Women's Aid; Heidi Isabelle Moan and Gavin Reeves We, the undersigned urge you to respect , Ms Carty's rights,... more
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