Jun 26, 2013 7:36 PM
HUNTSVILLE, Texas - Dozens of protesters gathered outside the Texas prison where the state executed its 500th inmate since it resumed carrying out the death penalty in 1982.
Kimberly McCarthy, 52, is the first woman executed in the U.S. since 2010. McCarthy was convicted for the 1997 robbery, beating and fatal stabbing of retired college psychology professor Dorothy Booth. Booth had agreed to give McCarthy a cup of sugar before she was attacked with a butcher knife at her home in Lancaster, about 15 miles south of Dallas. Authorities say McCarthy cut off Booth's finger to remove her wedding ring.
Police also had linked two other slayings to McCarthy, a former nursing home therapist who became addicted to crack cocaine.
In her appeals, McCarthy contended prosecutors improperly excluded black jurors and that her lawyers failed to challenge the moves at trial or in early appeals. McCarthy is black, and Booth was white. All but one of the 12 jurors at McCarthy's trial were white.
Texas has carried out nearly 40 percent of the more than 1,300 executions in the U.S. since the Supreme Court allowed capital punishment to resume in 1976.
In recent years, Texas executions have generally drawn fewer than 10 protesters. About 40 people were protesting about a block from the Huntsville Unit on Wednesday, carrying signs saying "Death Penalty: Racist and Anti-Poor," ''Stop All Executions Now" and "Stop Killing to Stop Killings."
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