HUNTSVILLE. Texas — A 51-year-old woman who was scheduled to be executed by lethal injection Tuesday night has received a last-minute reprieve.
Kimberly McCarthy was less than five hours away from being taken to the death chamber for the 1997 slaying of a neighbor.
It would have marked the first time in seven years that a female has been put to death in Texas.
She was convicted in the 1997 robbery, beating and fatal stabbing of retired college psychology professor.
State District Judge Larry Mitchell issued the reprieve. A new execution date has been set for April 3, said Dallas County Assistant District Attorney Shelly Yeatts.
McCarthy's lawyers contend the jury that convicted her of murder was improperly selected on the basis of race. McCarthy is black. Her jury was made up of 11 whites and one black person.
McCarthy would have been the 13th woman executed in the U.S. and the fourth in Texas, the nation's busiest death penalty state, since the Supreme Court allowed capital punishment to resume in 1976. In that same time period, more than 1,300 male inmates have been executed nationwide.
Blood DNA evidence has also linked McCarthy to two other murders, but she was never tried in those cases.
McCarthy was listed among 10 women on death row in Texas.
Details for this story were provided by The Huntsville (Texas) Item and the Associated Press