Federal Appeals Denied, Death Row Woman asks Britain for Help

With her latest plea for a retrial denied, Linda Carty has turned to British citizens and government officials for help in stopping her execution. The Supreme Court’s refusal to review her case comes after additional federal appeal failures and unsuccessful entreaties to lower courts. International intervention may be her last hope, though it’s a thin one.

At this point, it seems truly unlikely that the 52-year-old grandmother and former primary school teacher will survive her sentence.

A Review of the Case

It was 2001. A group of men, supposedly hired by Carty, broke into the home of Joana Rodriguez and demanded money and drugs. After assaulting those in the house, the men kidnapped Rodriguez and her four-day-old son. Rodriguez was bound and put in the trunk of a car, where she suffocated. Her son survived.

At her trial, prosecutors accused Carty of hiring the men to abduct and kill Rodriguez so that she, Carty, could steal the child for herself. These charges, she denied.

All the men involved in the murder received lesser sentences for testifying against Carty.

Carty, meanwhile, was sentenced to death.

Federal Appeals

Her federal appeals started soon after. Carty accused her defense lawyer of multiple failures, including failure to interview witnesses, look at evidence important to the case, and incompetence in dealing with cracks in the prosecution’s case. She is currently receiving legal support from British human rights group Reprieve.

In 2009, Carty released a seven-minute message begging those in Britain to help her. That summer, human rights activists in London played her message in public every day for three months and urged British citizens to get involved in the case.

Meanwhile, the British government has made United States authorities aware of their opposition to the death sentence.

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Related Resources

CNN, “High Court Refuses to Hear Appeal of Woman on Death Row