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Jun 26, 2013 9:42 PM by Mike Manzoni -- mmanzoni@kristv.com

Anti-Death Penalty Group Gathers During 500th Execution

CORPUS CHRISTI -- As the state carried out its 500th execution since the maroatorium was lifted, a group that opposes capital punishment gathered outside Incarnate Word Academy to pray and quietly protest what one person called a "dubious distinction."

Kimberly McCarthy, 52, was pronounced dead at 6:37 CST, about 20 minutes after the state began administering a lethal injection. McCarthy was put to death for murdering her elderly neighbor, Dorothy Booth, in 1997. McCarthy stabbed Booth repeatedly with a butcher knife.

Those who gathered said they are opposed to the death penalty for several reasons, but primarily because they said it punishes violence with violence.

"Life is sacred from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death," said Sister Barbara Netek of Incarnate Word Academy, "not when somebody chooses it for someone else."

"Getting over this idea that vengeance - that vengeance is part of righteousness," said Emilie Olivarez of the Texas Coalition Against the Death Penalty.

The group said convincing lawmakers in Austin to join them in opposing capital punishment will be especially difficult given that the state has carried out nearly 40 percent of the country's 1,300 executions since 1976.

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