Dallas County D.A. wants stay of execution for convicted killer

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by JASON WHITELY

WFAA

Posted on March 29, 2013 at 8:06 AM

DALLAS -- Kimberly McCarthy's execution, postponed now for a second time, has been rescheduled for June 26.

It was supposed to be next Wednesday.

Her case dates back 15 years, when she went next door to borrow sugar from her 71-year-old neighbor, Dorothy Booth, in Lancaster. McCarthy beat, robbed, and killed Booth to buy crack cocaine.

Hours before her execution last month, a judge granted a temporary stay to allow her attorneys to work up an appeal based on the race of McCarthy's jurors -- 11 were white and one was black.

Dallas County prosecuted the case and last month, District Attorney Craig Watkins told News 8, "I believe that race played no role in the selection of Kimberly McCarthy's jury."

But Thursday afternoon, Watkins seemed to raise doubt about his earlier statement. He said he now supports a stay of execution in McCarthy's case, now that a half-dozen bills are floating through the legislature, including one that would let convicts appeal their cases using race as a factor.

"When I sign a death warrant in Dallas County, I want the public to trust that the inmate who was sentenced to death by a jury received a fair trial," Watkins said in a statement. "The proposed legislation being reviewed at the Texas capitol can impact that."

"I don't understand what the point of going through all the appeals, going through the trials - what the point is - if at the end of the day, an attorney with an agenda can come in last minute and completely turn that upside down," said Leslie Aldred Lambert, Booth's granddaughter in a February interview with News 8.

Booth's killing is one of three murders linked to McCarthy. Watkins said the death penalty must be fairly administered, and done so without question, including any hints of racial bias.

Watkins will address reporters in the 292nd court in the Frank Crowley Courts Building at 9:30 a.m. on Friday morning.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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