The first woman set to be executed in the U.S. since 2010 won a reprieve a few hours before she was to be taken to the Texas death chamber, reports the Associated Press. Judge Larry Mitchell in Dallas rescheduled Kimberly McCarthy’s punishment for April 3 so lawyers for the former nursing home therapist could have more time to pursue an appeal focused on whether her predominantly white jury was improperly selected on the basis of race. McCarthy is black.
McCarthy, 51, was sent to death row for the 1997 stabbing, beating and robbery of a 71-year-old neighbor. She learned of the reprieve less than five hours before she was scheduled for lethal injection, already in a small holding cell a few feet from the death chamber at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Huntsville Unit.