McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Features

July 2, 2013

Texas' 500th execution since 1982 draws protests

HUNTSVILLE, Texas — The 500th lethal injection execution carried out in Texas drew an emotional crowd of protesters outside the death chamber in Huntsville, many of whom challenged the fairness of the sentence for the condemned -- a black woman.

Though hundreds of males have been put to death in Huntsville since lethal injection was introduced in 1982 — including the first, Charlie Brooks, a black Dallas man convicted in the abduction and murder of a used car salesman — Kimberly McCarthy was only the fourth woman executed in the state.

McCarthy, 52, was put to death Wednesday for the 1998 stabbing death of her 71-year-old neighbor, Dorothy Booth.

Protesters said they believe McCarthy’s sentence, handed down by a primarily white jury, was in error and her trial was unfair.

Members of the Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement, New Black Panther Party, National Black United Front, Dallas Peace Center, and others voiced their opposition to the death penalty.

“Murderers, murderers!” protesters chanted as reporters, McCarthy’s family, and Texas Department of Criminal Justice officials entered the death chamber shortly before 6 p.m.

Many of the protesters said they were angered by perceived racial bias in the courts system, which they said resulted in far more executions of minorities than whites.

Tempers in the crowd of a few hundred flared when Krystal Muhammad, chairwoman of the Houston chapter of the New Black Panther Party, tuned her anger on a university student in the crowd who asked, “But didn’t she (McCarthy) kill someone?”

“The white jury said they did. The white jury always says they’re guilty,” said Muhammad, whose eyes welled with tears.

Hoisting a microphone, National Black United Front national chairman Kofi Taharka said capital punishment must be abolished.

“The death penalty should be shut down before they murder more,” Taharka said to the crowd. The 45-minute, roller coaster of emotions outside the Walls ended with a prayer circle and a hymn. Members of the circle held hands and prayed that Texas and its leadership would end the death penalty.

Details for this story were provided by The Huntsville (Texas) Item.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
NDN Video
Weird 'Wakudoki' Dance Launches Promotional Competition Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Broken Water Main Floods UCLA "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH)
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.