HOUSTON — Relatives of a slain Texas woman who were en route to the convicted killer’s execution this week were stunned to get a call that a state judge had halted the punishment.
“We were shocked and dismayed and sad and angry and a whole plethora of emotions we were feeling about this,” Randall Browning, the victim’s godson, said Thursday. “This is outrageous. Nobody is considering the victims in this.”
Dorothy Booth, 71, was beaten, stabbed and robbed at her home in Lancaster, south of Dallas. A neighbor, Kimberly McCarthy, was convicted in the 1997 slaying and sentenced to die.
On Tuesday, the 51-year-old McCarthy received a reprieve. It came about five hours before she was scheduled to become the first woman executed in the U.S. since 2010 and only the 13th since the U.S. Supreme Court in 1976 allowed capital punishment to continue.
“We have waited for 15 years patiently and quietly for justice that was promised us after she was initially found guilty and given the death penalty,” Browning said. “And the state of Texas so far has failed to realize justice for our family.”
A judge reset McCarthy’s punishment in Huntsville for April 3 to give her lawyers more time to pursue arguments that the jury in her case improperly was selected on the basis of race. McCarthy is black. All but one of the jurors at her 2002 trial were white.
“If I was African-American I would be absolutely insulted at the suggestion that somehow African-Americans would not find her guilty,” said Browning, who is white, referring to the “gruesome” evidence in the case.
The slaying of Booth, a retired college psychology professor, is one of three linked to McCarthy, a former nursing home therapist who became addicted to cocaine.
Photo Highlights: President Obama Chicago Farewell Speech
President Barack Obama makes his final farewell speech in his hometown of Chicago. Arriving at O'hare airport on Airforce One Tuesday, early evening was First Lady Michelle Obama, daughter Malia and Vice President Joe Biden along with wife, Jill Biden.
Making a final journey as the 44th President of the United States, expressways and local South Side streets were cleared as traffic stood at a complete when the 20-vehicle caravan made its way to Valois Restaurant in Hyde Park. There, President Obama conducted a one-on-one interview with NBC anchorman, Lester Holt before proceeding to give his farewell speech at McCormick Place.
Nearly 20,000 attendees packed the nearly standing-room only space in the East wing of the McCormick Place as VIP attendees sat upfront to hang onto the President's every word. There were various groups that traveled from far and near to be a part of history including celebrity sightings from Sharon Stone to Empire's Jussie Smollett--local and state dignitaries. Opening up the ceremony was a special performance by Hip hop/R&B singer, BJ the Chicago Kid showcasing belting out the national anthem is a smart blue suit.
Once President Obama hit the stage, the electric energy of emotions ran throughout the audience. At times, the crowd's applause was so loud that it impossible to hear him but there were moments that silence rippled throughout the venue--knowing this would be his last time addressing his hometown as Chief of Staff.
In his signature style of class, poise and honor--he addressed the various strides that he and his administration has made over the last eight years in protecting America's democracy. His emotions got the best of him when he addressed his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama and daughter Malia who sat in the front row along with Vice President Joe Biden, wife Jill and his mother-in-law--Marian Shields Robinson.
<p class="p1"><span class="s1">“Malia and Sasha, under the strangest of circumstances, you have become two amazing young women, smart and beautiful, but more importantly, kind and thoughtful and full of passion. You wore the burden of years in the spotlight so easily. Of all that I’ve done in my life, I’m most proud to be your dad.”</span></p>
<p class="p1">After the speech, the Obama family took time out to walk along the barricades, greeting and shaking hands with supporters and friends. The scene was definitely historic and we knew it was the end of an era of class that will not be duplicated in the White House for a very long time.</p>
<p class="p1"><a href="http://www.twitter.com/globalmixx">Follow Mary L. Datcher on Twitter</a></p>
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