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Pattaya Daily News

23 September 2010 :: 15:09:49 pm 40146

Death Sentence for Convicted Briton in Flawed Trial

Briton Linda Carty, a former primary school teacher and an undercover drug enforcer awaits execution for the death of a young mother in Texas in May 2001 as campaigners argue that she did not receive a fair trial.
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Texas, 23rd September 2010: Since the restoration of the death penalty in Texas in 1982, the US state has executed 462 people, three of them women with Linda Carty next in line for the lethal injection in America’s busiest execution chamber.

Further investigations into Carty’s conviction has shown catastrophic flaws with her then defense lawyer failing to call important witnesses and ignoring crucial support from the British government.

The 51 year old grandmother, born in St. Kitts a former British Colony in the Caribbean and migrated to the US with her daughter in the early 80’s was convicted of the kidnap and murder of Joana Rodriguez taken with her four day old son by three men involved in a drugs gang. The baby was later found unharmed in a car, but Ms. Rodriguez was found suffocated with a plastic bag over her head and duct tape on her mouth.

Carty, who was found guilty of authorizing the crime and sentenced to death in 2002, has always maintained her innocence, but the US Supreme Court has refused to review her case leaving her facing execution.

Linda Carty has always argued her innocence in the matter, insisting it was her undercover work for the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that has landed her on death row, believing she was framed by the three men involved in the crime when her cover as an informant was blown.

Carty’s legal team and British campaigners have said there are too many aspects of her case that are troubling and argue that she did not receive a fair trial with evidence against her coming from drug dealers and gunmen and her bungled case by her defense lawyer.

The prosecution claimed she organized the kidnapping because she was desperate for a baby to pass off as her own to save her then failing marriage which Carty strongly denies.

Michael Goldberg who has taken over as Carty’s lawyer said he was “blown away” when he discovered the evidence against her, especially when he heard how the prosecution claimed that Carty had planned to cut the unborn child out of Ms. Rodriguez’s womb. “The insinuations were just horrendous,” said Mr. Goldberg who went on to say, “when we looked at the facts and that the baby was already born the week before, there was nothing to do with cutting open the stomach. It made no sense. It made a dramatic effect for the prosecution to sit in front of the jury with a pair of scissors and say this was going to happen, but in reality it was drama which we believe was inappropriate.”

Mr. Goldberg told how key witnesses were never spoken to by Carty’s counsel and her lawyer Mr. Jerry Guerinot had spoken to her for no more than 15 minutes before she went on trial for her life.

Guerinot, the court appointed defense lawyer who has been described by the British government as “woeful” had no fewer than 20 out of his 39 clients ending up on death row. This is a record unrivalled by any US prosecutor.  He has been accused of repeatedly failing his clients.

Mr. Goldberg went on to explain how the most significant witness who was an officer for the DEA and ready to testify that he knew her well and she was not a killer was not spoken too. Guerinot did not ask any questions in Carty’s favour that could have helped her.

Charles Mathis, the drug enforcement officer explained in an affidavit how Carty acted as confidential informant for him and how he would have spoken in her defense had he been asked.

The British Consul General in Texas explained that his office and the UK government only heard about the case after Carty’s conviction and that securing a retrial is at the moment the most important part of the job. He went on to say that the British government has a policy of intervening whenever a British National is facing or potentially facing the death penalty and that the authorities and her defense lawyer had plenty of opportunity to identify her nationality which is a terrible failure of the system.

Meanwhile, Linda Carty awaits the date of her execution while praying for clemency from the Texas governor who has only once in over 200 cases overturned a death sentence.

Reggie Colbeck

Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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