An African American woman, executed here Wednesday
after 14 years on death row, became the 500th Texas inmate put to death since
the U.S. state reinstated executions in 1982.
Kimberly McCarthy, 52, was convicted of robbing and fatally stabbing her neighbor, 71-year-old retired university professor Dorothy Booth, in July 1997. Prosecutors argued the killing was prompted by a robbery, in which McCarthy severed the victim's finger in order to steal a ring. The ring and other items taken from the murder site were then traded for cash to buy drugs. [ During sentencing, prosecutors revealed that McCarthy had robbed and murdered two other women, both of them in their 80s. Additionally, she had convictions for forgery, theft of services and prostitution.
McCarthy was pronounced dead at 6:37 p.m. local time (2337 GMT) Wednesday, 20 minutes after Texas prison officials began administering a single lethal dose of pentobarbital, the Houston Chronicle reported.
McCarthy was the 500th Texas inmate executed since the state adopted the practice of lethal injection in 1982 and the eighth Texas prisoner executed this year.
Texas has carried out nearly 40 percent of the more than 1,300 executions in the U.S. since the Supreme Court allowed capital punishment to resume in 1976. The state's standing stems from its size as the nation's second-most populous state as well as its tradition of tough justice for killers, according to reports.
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