This article is over 9 years old


Houston Group Fights Against Execution Of Texas Woman

Next Tuesday marks the first time since 2005 that the state of Texas is scheduled to execute a woman. Kimberly McCarthy was convicted of murder in 1997. A local anti-death penalty group is still fighting to get her off death row.


To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:

<iframe src="" style="height: 115px; width: 100%;"></iframe>

“Office of the governor, this is Katie. May I help you?”

“Hi, my name is Gloria Rubac. I’m calling from Houston, from the S.H.A.P.E Community Center and I’d like to leave a message for Governor Perry, that he should not execute Kimberly McCarthy next Tuesday.”

At the S.H.A.P.E Community Center in the Third Ward, the Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement called for a commutation of the execution of a Dallas area woman — Kimberly McCarthy. McCarthy was convicted in 1997 of brutally murdering and robbing her neighbor, 71-year-old Dorothy Booth, to buy crack cocaine.

Gloria Rubac with the Abolition Movement says things went downhill for the former nursing home therapist when she became addicted to drugs in the 1990s.

“Crack cocaine causes changes in your brain. It’s a disease, well, any addiction like that is a disease. It caused her to do something that she never would have done if she had not been addicted to drugs.”

Anti-death penalty groupRubac says instead of executing people with drug problems, the state should treat them for their addictions. She also says the 14 years on death row have changed McCarthy, just like it changes many convicted killers.

She hopes the fact that McCarthy is a woman will help raise awareness of her scheduled execution.

“The person you’re executing is not the person 10 or 15 or 20 or 25 years ago that committed a crime, but people have more sympathy, I guess, or more empathy for a woman for some reason.”

McCarthy lost an appeal at the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this month.

Governor Rick Perry is not expected to pardon her.

She will be the fourth woman executed in Texas since 1982, when the state resumed executions after a 10-year moratorium.

Subscribe to Today in Houston

Fill out the form below to subscribe our new daily editorial newsletter from the HPM Newsroom.

* required