Kimberly McCarthy's execution, scheduled for Tuesday, January 29 in Austin, Texas, marks the 13th occasion in which a female prisoner's death penalty is carried through, in the last 40 years.
Since 1976, when the capital punishment was reinstated, women's executions have represented a minute percentage of the 490 registered in the state of Texas.
“Although women commit about 10 percent of murders, capital cases also require some aggravating factor like rape, robbery, or physical abuse,” Death Penalty Information Center director Richard Dieter explains.
According to the Christian Post, McCarthy was convicted of murder in October 2002. The now 51-year-old inmate fatally stabbed her next-door neighbor, 71-year-old Dorothy Booth.
The July 22, 1997 incident was allegedly motivated by drug use. International Business Times details that she entered the woman's house in Lancaster under the pretense of needing to borrow sugar.
She killed her neighbor after a struggle, and cut off one of her fingers afterwards. She proceeded to steal her car, a white Mercedes station wagon, and approached a drug dealer asking for crack cocaine. She then tried to pawn off a diamond ring she had taken off Booth's severed finger.
McCarthy has been indicted in two other violent murder cases. She is suspected of killing two other senior women, which she had met through her 85-year-old mother.
While the inmate is scheduled to die by fatal injection, a petition was started on Change.org to prevent that from happening.
“We are asking that Kimberly's sentence be commuted. That the State of Texas show mercy!! [...] Killing Kimberly will not bring the victim back.
“It will only create more suffering and heartache. More victims. She could be such a positive influence to others. God can use her to touch the lives of other women headed down the road to destruction,” it reads.
[Update, February 8 2013]: The article above erroneously states that Kimberly McCarthy's execution has been scheduled to be performed in Austin. As one of our readers notes, it has been set for Huntsville, Texas.
McCarthy has been given more time for an appeal, as we also reported. Her execution has been rescheduled for April 3.