500th Texas Execution Scheduled Despite Concerns about Racial Bias and Quality of Legal Representation

Kimberly McCarthy (pictured), who is facing execution on June 26, is scheduled to become the 500th person executed in Texas since 1976. McCarthy’s attorney, Maurie Levin, recently filed a new motion to stay the execution because racial discrimination and inadequate legal representation played significant roles in McCarthy’s case. According to the filing, only four non-white potential jurors made it to the final selection from an initial pool of 64 prospective jurors. Three of the four potential jurors were removed from the final jury by the prosecution using peremptory strikes. Levin also argues that McCarthy’s execution should be stayed because she received inadequate legal representation. In a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Trevino v. Thaler, the Court said Texas courts are required to consider appeals from death row inmates who claim ineffective assistance of counsel.

(E. Pilkington, “Texas poised to execute 500th prisoner as lawyers fight to save her life,” The Guardian, June 20, 2013). See Race and Representation.