Thursday, September 10, 2009


The image of a British grandmother on death row in America is to be put on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square in a plea to save her from execution.
Linda Carty was sentenced to death in 2002 for abducting and murdering a mother, allegedly to steal her baby.
She maintains she is innocent and says she was framed for the crime.
The British Consulate-General in Houston, responsible for assisting Ms Carty, said it had made a number of representations on her behalf.
On Thursday her supporters will erect a cardboard cut-out of her on the plinth used for temporary live statues in the London square.
They will play a recording she made in the Texas jail where, if appeals fail, she will be put to death by lethal injection.

In the message, she states: "Time is now running out and I appeal to every one of you and to the British government to please help me."
She adds: "I'm sorry if I sound like a desperate woman. I am desperate, because the British people may be my last hope. If they ask for my life to be spared, maybe Texas will listen."
Legal charity Reprieve described Ms Carty as the the most at-risk British national they are following. It is thought her execution could take place as early as next summer.
Speaking from her Texas prison, Ms Carty said she was hopeful that her appeal, which is currently lodged with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, would be successful.
Asked if she thought Prime Minister Gordon Brown could assert more pressure, she said: "He has to. You cannot sit passively by and because you have a good relationship with the US say 'I don't want to rock the boat'.
"You are talking about somebody's life here. He has to get up and say 'I am not going to allow you to kill this lady'."

Clive Stafford-Smith, director of legal charity Reprieve, said: "Linda Carty's speech to Trafalgar Square shows that she is a terrified woman, and with good reason. Texas plans to kill her by lethal injection, which is a painful and lonely death.
"The British government must do everything in its power to prevent Linda's death."
Ms Carty was convicted in connection to the kidnap and murder of Joana Rodriguez, who was seized with her four-day-old son by three men on 16 May 2001.
But she says she was framed by three men in revenge for her work as an informant with a Drug Enforcement Agency.
Campaigners claim there were a number of defence failings during the trial.
The Foreign Office said that it had made its usual representations against the death penalty. It has also registered a complaint with the US Appeals Court about not being informed when the woman was first arrested.
A spokesman for the British Consulate-General in Houston said: "We have made a number of representations to the US government and other US authorities involved in this case, concerning our view on the death penalty.
"We remain in close contact with Ms Carty and her legal representation in the US and UK and continue to provide Ms Carty with consular assistance."
Ms Carty has British dependent territory citizenship because she was born on the island of St Kitts, in the Caribbean, to Anguillan parents.



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