Save Linda Carty - please help

on 28 November 2011


How to save Linda Carty

Linda's life is now in the hands of the Republican Governor of Texas, Rick Perry. Since succeeding George Bush nine years ago, Governor Perry has only granted clemency to one death row inmate - Kenneth Foster in 2007.

It is time to get very worried about Linda. She needs all the support she can get - here are some of the ways you can help:

  1. Please sign this petition now, or email info@reprieve.org.uk and we will sign for you.
  2. Follow Linda Carty's case on Facebook, Twitter or our Save Linda Petition.
  3. Sign up for updates on Linda's case and all our other work by clicking here.
  4. Send us a letter seeking clemency  for Linda; we will collect these letters and send them to the authorities when an execution date has been set.
  5. Donate to our Urgent Appeal for Linda Carty.
  6. Write a letter of support to Linda at: Linda Carty, # 999406, Mountainview Unit, 2305 Ransom Rd, Gatesville, Texas 76528, USA. Letters must include a return address.

Meet Linda Carty

Described as 'a star who could have entered politics' by the former Prime Minister of her native St Kitts, Linda today finds herself in the worst situation imaginable. She will be executed within months unless the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, grants clemency.

Linda is now fifty-one and has spent over eight years on death row at Mountain View prison in Gatesville. She has been sustained by the dream of one day walking free and clearing her name. All she wants is to be reunited with her loved ones again and to hug her two young grandchildren. Learn more about Linda’s life, her faith, watch her family and friends talk about her and listen to Linda’s address to the British people:

Why is Linda Carty on death row?

Jerry Guerinot - the worst lawyer in the world?

Linda was condemned to death after a “catastrophically flawed” trial for the murder of her neighbour. She has always proclaimed her innocence and would certainly not be on death row today if she had been assigned adequate defence counsel at trial. 

Her court-appointed lawyer, Jerry Guerinot, has sent more prisoners to death row than any other lawyer in the United States, yet his failings only became fully apparent after the American law firm Baker Botts, assisted by Reprieve, took on Linda’s case pro bono. It emerged that:

  • Guerinot had only spent 15 minutes with Linda before her capital trial.
  • He had falsely told the courts that Linda refused to meet with him until he bribed her with a chocolate bar. In fact, she is fatally allergic to chocolate.
  • He failed to spot obvious inconsistencies in the prosecution's case.
  • He failed to interview key witnesses.
  • He did not present evidence on her behalf or even investigate Linda’s case in any depth.

Neither, crucially, did he inform the British government of Linda’s case until it was too late. As a result the British government could not intervene on Linda’s behalf in a timely and effective manner.

Clive Stafford Smith said:“If the British government had been involved, at the very least Jerry Guerinot wouldn’t have tried the case and Linda would not be where she is today. That was the difference between life and death”.

The British government has made great efforts to save Linda Carty’s life. It has filed a “friend of the court” briefing to the US Supreme Court contending that she deserved a retrial because of the failings of her court-appointed lawyer. The Supreme Court has ignored these pleas and Linda’s conviction and sentence have been upheld.

The odds were always stacked against Linda. It is extremely difficult to get new evidence admitted in US capital appeals, even if that evidence demonstrates the defendant's innocence. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia notoriously stated in August 2009:

"This Court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is “actually” innocent. Quite to the contrary, we have repeatedly left that question unresolved, while expressing considerable doubt that any claim based on alleged “actual innocence” is constitutionally cognizable."

Read more about Linda Carty's case

Who is fighting to save Linda Carty?

The British Government, had filed a strongly-worded amicus brief to the Court, detailing serious errors by the State of Texas and stating that that had they been allowed to assist Linda, she would likely not be facing execution today. Watch here a video of Jeremy Browne, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, talking about Linda Carty (start at 3rd minute)

Bianca Jagger, Goodwill Ambassador for the Council of Europe and many British celebrities as well as ordinary British citizens are already supporting Linda Carty (please click on links to watch their video pleas)

Led by the Reverend David Streeter, the village community of Horham  is also asking the State of Texas  to reconsider the case of Linda Carty in a moving video plea.  Horham was visited by Governor Perry in 2000 and hosted US troops during World War II. Villagers enjoyed strong friendships with American GIs stationed at the military base there, which endure to this day

Many Churches and other students organisations are in the process of joining us to help save Linda's life. Please join us!

 

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