By Calvin Palmer
A British citizen on death row in a Texas prison had her appeal turned down by a U.S. federal court yesterday.
Linda Carty, 50, was born on the Caribbean island of St Kitts and has British citizenship by virtue of her Anguillan parents.
She faces execution by lethal injection after being convicted for her part in the abduction and murder of a 25-year-old woman whose child she had snatched eight years ago in Houston.
The Fifth Circuit court in New Orleans conceded that Carty received an inadequate defense at her murder trial in 2002 but refused to reverse the jury’s decision to impose the death penalty.
Carty’s lawyers said the court also refused to hear new evidence which they say casts serious doubt on her conviction.
“I’m afraid our worst fears have now been realized for Linda,” said Clive Stafford Smith, director of Reprieve, a British charity which has provided her with legal representation.
“Although she has recourse to the Supreme Court, experience suggests that she will soon be in the Texas execution chamber.
“Linda Carty has been tragically and disastrously failed by her defense lawyer at trial, and by the U.S. legal system.”
Carty has always claimed she was framed for the crime due to her prior work helping put drug dealers behind bars.
Her appeals have centred on the failings of her trial lawyer, Jerry Guerinot, who failed to failed to interview a crucial witness, Carty’s common law husband.
Carty’s lawyers could make an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Britian’s Foreign Office says it is conferring with its legal advisers.
Last week, Carty made a plea to Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the British public, with a taped message played in London’s Trafalgar Square, to intervene and help save her life.