British grandmother Linda Carty was wrongfully sentenced to death by a Texan court and is now dangerously close to execution. Please watch this video about her disastrous case – and find out how you can help save her life.
How to save Linda Carty
- Please sign this petition NOW
- Follow Linda Carty’s case on Facebook, Twitter or our Save Linda Petition
- Sign up for updates on Linda’s case by mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- Donate to our Urgent Appeal for Linda Carty
Who is Linda Carty?
After a catastrophically flawed trial, Linda Carty was sentenced to death in February 2002 and faces execution within months. She desperately needs your help.
- Watch a video featuring Linda, her family and lawyers explaining what went wrong in her case
- Listen to Linda’s appeal to the British people
- Watch Reprieve’s Clare Algar talk about Linda’s case on Sky
- Look back at Linda’s case history
Why is Linda Carty on death row?
Linda would certainly not be on death row today if she had had a decent defence lawyer at trial. Her story is a damning indictment of the Texas justice system, and exposes the perils of being poor and vulnerable in the USA.
Linda was born on 5 October 1958 on the Caribbean island of St Kitts to Anguillan parents and holds a UK dependent territory passport. She worked as a primary school teacher in St Kitts until she was 23, when she moved to the US to study.
After disastrous failures by her court-appointed lawyer, Linda was convicted of taking part in the murder of 25 year-old Joana Rodriguez.
The crime took place on 16 May 2001, when three men broke into the apartment of Rodriguez and her partner Raymundo Cabrera, demanding drugs and cash. They abducted Rodriguez and her four-day-old son, Ray, who was later found unharmed in a car, while Rodriguez had suffocated.
The prosecution’s rather implausible theory was that Linda was afraid of losing her common-law husband and thought that if she had another baby he would stay. Unable to get pregnant, they allege she had hired three men to kidnap Rodriguez and that she planned to steal the child – a baby of a different race to Linda.
Linda’s court-appointed lawyer was Jerry Guerinot, whose incompetence has already led to twenty of his clients ending up on death row, more than any other defence lawyer in the US. His approach to her case was at best, slapdash, at worst, wilfully inept.
Guerinot’s catalogue of serious failings in Linda’s case includes: failure to meet Linda until immediately before the trial, failure to inform Linda or her husband of their rights; failure to spot obvious flaws and inconsistencies in the prosecution case; failure to interview witnesses; and failure to investigate key mitigating evidence.
After her conviction, investigators from Reprieve visited St Kitts and learnt that Linda was still remembered as a passionate teacher who frequently held extra classes for children with special needs. She also taught at Sunday school, sang in a national youth choir and led a volunteer social-work group.
This information would have enabled Guerinot to present her to the jurors as a dedicated teacher and community leader – factors that might well have induced them to vote to spare her life. But although Guerinot applied to the court for funds to go to St Kitts before Linda’s trial, neither he nor his staff made the trip.
By the time the Carty family emigrated to the US in 1982, Linda had a daughter Jovelle, then two (born 10 September 1979). Shortly after Jovelle was born, Jovelle’s father emigrated to New York, leaving Linda to care for the child alone. A year after Linda moved to Houston her cousin Harriet died suddenly. Linda and Harriet were very close and Linda was devastated.
During the 80s, Linda had begun to work as a confidential informant for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), befriending suspected traffickers in order to get information and sometimes to make test purchases of drugs. Linda has always asserted her innocence, and believes that she was framed because of her work with the DEA.
In 1988 Linda was raped in a University of Houston car park. The rape resulted in a pregnancy and Linda gave birth to a baby girl (born 23 June 1989) who was given up for adoption. Linda felt a deep sense of shame and concealed the rape and the pregnancy from her family. Two months prior to giving birth, Linda’s beloved father died, Linda was distraught. Later, she found herself in an abusive relationship and was a victim of domestic violence.
Linda is now incarcerated at Mountain View Unit, one of ten women on death row in Texas.
Will Linda be killed?
Linda’s case is now before the Supreme Court; this is the last chance for the legal system to save her life. The Supreme Court hears only a tiny number of cases per year.
It is time to get very worried about Linda. She needs all the support she can get.
What else can I do?
After signing the petition and sending it to your friends, you can write a letter of support to Linda at: Linda Carty, # 999406, Mountainview Unit, 2305 Ransom Rd, Gatesville, Texas 76528, USA. Letters must include a return address.
- 2010_01_27 Linda Carty Supreme Court Petition appendices
- Linda Carty cut out on the Plinth
- Linda Carty: Cartoon by Lewis Peake
- Linda Carty: Case Summary
- Linda Carty: Fifth Circuit appeal arguments
- Linda Carty: photo standing on porch
- Linda Carty: portrait by Claire Phillips
- Linda Carty: UK government’s amicus brief
- Listen to Linda Carty’s Speech from Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth