|Born||Linda Anita Carty
5 October 1958
|Occupation||Laborer. Former primary school teacher. Former DEA Informant|
|Criminal status||Incarcerated at Mountain View Unit in Gatesville, Texas|
Linda Anita Carty (born 5 October 1958) is a woman possessing both United States and British citizenship who is on death row in Texas. She was convicted and sentenced to death in February 2002 for the 2001 abduction and murder of 25-year-old Joana Rodriguez, in order to steal her newborn son. Carty claims she was framed by drug dealers in response to her work as an informant and has appealed her conviction. Her appeals have been unsuccessful to date, but she launched a fresh appeal in 2015 which was granted as reported on 26 February 2015. In 2018, however, the appeal was eventually denied. Barring the granting of clemency, she currently stands to become the first female British national to be executed since Ruth Ellis in 1955, and the first British black woman executed in more than a century. She is the sole death row inmate in the U.S. with British citizenship.
Early life and education
Born in St. Kitts to Anguillan parents, Carty holds British citizenship as St. Kitts was a British colony at the time of her birth. She emigrated to the United States in 1982 and is a citizen of the United States. Carty studied pharmacology at the University of Houston.
In 1992, Carty was convicted of auto theft and impersonation of an FBI agent. She was sentenced to 10 years probation, on the condition she would work as a drug informant. While working as an informant, she provided information leading to two arrests. Her services came to an end when she was arrested on drug charges.
However, in media interviews Carty has claimed that she was recruited by a friend from the Houston Police Department and that her work for the DEA helped land seizures of thousands of dollars' worth of narcotics and led to the imprisonment of scores of dealers.
According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice:
On 16 May 2001, Carty and three co-defendants [Gerald Anderson, Chris Robinson, and Carlos Williams] invaded the home of a 25 year old female. The victim and her three-day-old baby were kidnapped and two other victims were beaten, duct taped, and left in the residence. The 25 year old female was hog-tied with duct tape, a bag was taped over her head, and she was placed in the trunk of a car. This victim died from suffocation.
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Investigators initially suspected Carty after they discovered that she had told people she was going to have a baby despite not appearing pregnant. While interviewing neighbors in the apartment complex, police heard from one neighbor that she sat with Carty in a car, saw a child's car seat in the car, and was told by Carty that she was pregnant; this was remarkable to the witness because Carty didn't appear pregnant. Police then telephoned Carty and asked her to meet with them. She told them that a car she had rented and her daughter's car may have been used in the crime. She was placed under arrest. Then she directed them to a location where both cars were found: the live baby was in one, and the suffocated victim was in the back of the other. Carty's fingerprints were in both cars. They found various items of baby paraphernalia.
The following evidence was presented during the trial:
- In early May 2001, Carty and her husband separated. Carty then informed him that she was pregnant with his child.
- On the day before the murder, 15 May 2001, Carty told her neighbor, Florence Meyers that she was pregnant and that the baby was going to be born the next day. Meyers testified that Carty did not appear to be pregnant.
- Carty told her husband on 15 May that she was going to have a baby boy the next day. When he met her at the police station on 16 May after she had been arrested, he asked her if the baby had been born and she told him "not yet."
- On 15 May, Carty told Sherry Bancroft, an employee at Public Storage, that she had indeed had the baby and that he was at home with his father.
- The victim's husband testified that while the intruders were in his home, one of them answered his cell phone and said, "We are inside here. Do you want it?" Then he yelled that "she" was outside and that they had to go. The intruders left, taking the baby with them.
- Carty's cell phone records were introduced, and showed eleven calls logged between 12:50 a.m. and 2:50 a.m. on 16 May 2001, between Carty's phone and the cell phone number that led police to Gerald Anderson. Seven of those calls were placed between 1:09 a.m. and 1:14 a.m.
- Sarah Hernandez testified that she met Carty when they were both serving time in jail. Carty asked Hernandez to write a letter for her because she did not want the letter to be in her own handwriting. Carty wrote out what she wanted the letter to say, and Hernandez copied it. Hernandez said the letter was supposed to be from someone named Oscar. The letter said Carty was being set up by "Chris and Zeb," who borrowed Carty's car and put the baby in it. The letter stated they had a grudge against Carty.
- Carty's mother testified that her daughter did not mention to her that she was pregnant when they talked on 13 May or on the following days, and Carty did not appear to be pregnant around that time.
Conviction and appeals
The imposition of a death sentence in Texas results in an automatic direct appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. This appeal was rejected on April 7, 2004. Carty then appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. This appeal was rejected on September 19, 2009. On 26 February 2010, Carty appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, in which the British government filed an amicus curiae brief as a friend of the Court. However, on May 3, 2010, the Court refused to review the case, denying certiorari. The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has the option to recommend clemency to the Governor of Texas. However, such recommendations are rare.
Carty, her lawyers and her supporters contend that she has been unjustly sentenced to death for a murder that she did not commit. Reprieve claims that her defence attorney did not present mitigating evidence. They assert that no forensic evidence exists that places her at the scene of the crime, although Carty's fingerprints were found in the car containing the victim's body. Carty has claimed that she was framed by three men for her work as an informant with the Drug Enforcement Administration. Carty stated that "...it was too difficult just to kill me, so they hatched this plot." "Anderson, Robinson, and Williams, the other co-defendants in the kidnapping and murder, were given prison terms but none received the death penalty after testifying against Carty. Baker Botts, the law firm handling Carty's appeal, have argued that her trial attorney, Jerry Guerinot, handled her defense in an incompetent manner. Michael Goldberg of Baker Botts accuses Guerinot, who never won a death penalty case over his entire career, of failing to call any witnesses who might have persuaded the jury that she did not deserve execution. In addition, they assert that Guerinot met with Carty for only one fifteen-minute interview. This has been rejected by Guerinot's co-counsel. Carty also claims that on one occasion she was interviewed without counsel being present.
US breach of international law
Under the terms of the Bilateral Convention on Consular Officers (1951) between the United States and the United Kingdom, the United Kingdom’s consular officials were entitled to be informed immediately upon her detention (art. 16(1) of the Convention). The authorities in Texas failed to inform the British Consulate until after Carty’s conviction and sentencing. The United Kingdom’s Consul General in Houston at the time, Paul Lynch has stated in an interview with the UK’s Channel 4 television, that this breach:
“… made a material difference to the outcome of this case. If we had been allowed, and given the opportunity to support Linda Carty, if she had been given all the support to which she was entitled and which she deserved … something entirely different, I believe, would have happened at that trial and Linda Carty would not now be facing a death penalty.”
The United Kingdom made clear in its amicus curiae brief in the US Supreme Court that it regards the US as having breached its obligations under international law. However, the United Kingdom lacks any legal forum in which to obtain redress for this breach.
Carty's case received media attention in September 2009 when her image was placed on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square by her British supporters. However, there has been little media coverage in the US.
On 7 November 2012, Carty's case was covered on This Morning on ITV1.
Carty was the subject of a Channel 4 documentary, The British Woman on Death Row. It first aired on Channel 4 in the UK on 28 November 2011. In 2012, she appeared on a segment of Werner Herzog's series On Death Row, broadcast on Discovery Channel's Investigation Discovery. And in November 2013, Carty's story was profiled on Investigation Discovery's documentary series Deadly Women, in an episode titled "Untamed Evil." On June 19, 2016 Sky network aired a one-hour program about her case on CBS Reality, the program is called The British Woman on Death Row.
- Capital punishment
- Capital punishment in Texas
- LaGrand case
- Mexico v. United States
- List of women on death row in the United States
- "Offender Information - Linda Carty". Tdcj.state.tx.us. Retrieved 2018-02-04.
- "Linda Carty v. The State of Texas". www.cca.courts.state.tx.us.
- Lezon, Dale (2001-05-18). "Desire for baby seen as a motive". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2011-12-31.
- Alex Hannaford (2004-08-02). "Linda Carty: 'I'm not afraid of dying. I'm just angry'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2010-04-28.
- "British grandmother on death row in US case to be reviewed after witnesses 'threatened'". The Daily Telegraph. London. 2015-02-26.
- "Press Release: British death row grandmother granted new hearing", Reprieve, 2015-02-25.
- Whittell, Giles (2010-02-27). "Death-row inmate Linda Carty launches last-chance appeal to US Supreme Court - Times Online". timesonline.co.uk. London. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
- Graczyk, Michael (2018-02-07). "Court rejects appeal from British woman on Texas death row". Associated Press at CBS News. Retrieved 2018-02-10.
- Conway, Stanford (2012-04-11). "Death Row Granny may soon be executed". St. Kitts Nevis Vibes. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- "David Rose on the inept handling of British citizen Linda Carty's murder trail". The Observer Magazine. London. 2007-12-02. Retrieved 2010-04-28.
- Baron, Alexander, "Op-Ed: 12 myths about Linda Carty debunked", Digital Journal, 2011-12-20.
- Alex Hannaford, "Death row: the last hope", The Guardian, 2010-02-28.
- "Prison inmate details". Texas Tribune. 2011-12-14. Archived from the original on 2011-08-21. Retrieved 2011-12-14.
- "Fifth Circuit appeal, Appendix A, Page 10" (PDF). US Court of Appeal. 2009-10-15. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-12-01. Retrieved 2011-12-14.
- Glenn, Mike (2001-05-19). "Three men sought in kidnap, killing". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2011-12-31.
- Christian, Carol (2002-02-12). "Prosecution paints Carty as schemer". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2011-12-31.
- "Linda Carty - Women on Death Row Linda Carty". Crime.about.com. 2001-05-16. Retrieved 2010-04-28.
- Lezon, Dale (2002-02-22). "Woman given death sentence in kidnap case". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2011-12-31.
- "UK Amicus Curiae Brief" (PDF). Retrieved 9 November 2013.
- McGuffin, Paddy. "Facing imminent death". Morning Star. Retrieved 2010-04-28.
- Williams, Mat. "Death-row grandmother Linda Carty in last-ditch plea - The Scotsman". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2010-04-28.
- Lee, Renée C. "Supreme Court rejects plea from British woman on death row." Houston Chronicle. May 3, 2010. Retrieved on May 31, 2010.
- Leonard, Tom (2009-09-18). "Death Row Briton Linda Carty faces execution in US after losing appeal". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2010-04-28.
- "UK | Plinth spot for death row Briton". BBC News. 2009-09-10. Retrieved 2010-04-28.
- Baron, Alexander (2011-12-06). "Op-Ed: Linda Carty's other lawyer sets the record straight". Digital Journal. Retrieved 2011-12-06.
- "The British Woman on Death Row". Channel 4 Television. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
- Melissa Gray CNN (2009-09-10). "Death row grandmother in Trafalgar Square plea - CNN.com". Edition.cnn.com. Retrieved 2010-04-28.
- Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Turner Publishing Company, 2004. 100. ISBN 1-56311-964-1, ISBN 978-1-56311-964-4.
- "On Death Row". Discovery. Discovery Channel. Archived from the original on November 28, 2012. Retrieved March 16, 2012.
- Hannaford, Alex. "Death row: the last hope ." The Guardian. Sunday February 28, 2010 - Linda Carty interview
- The Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas - Linda Carty v. The State of Texas. (Contains a description of the events of May 16, 2001.)
- The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit - Linda Anita Carty v. Nathaniel Quarterman, Director, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Division
- Amicus Curiae brief by the UK government in support of Carty
- Linda Carty Case Presentation of the case on the Fair Trials International website. Retrieved 2013-10-14
- Website of Agency Involved in Carty's Appeal
- Death row Briton's last hope for mercy - BBC video report and interview with Linda Carty, September 23, 2010.