Barring a last-minute stay, Kimberly McCarthy on June 26 will become the 500th Texas killer to be executed since the state re-activated the death penalty in 1976. Texas leads the nation’s 33 death penalty states in executions, killing more than the next five most active states combined.
Virginia, with 110 executions, places second.
Minutes before the killing hour, McCarthy, 52, condemned for the 1997 murder-robbery of a 70-year-old Dallas County woman, will be strapped to a gurney in a room deep within the 164-year-old prison. Then, as a warden and chaplain stand silently nearby, she will be injected with a lethal dose of a drug commonly used to euthanize cats and dogs.
McCarthy, a one-time occupational therapist and home health care worker, will be the fourth woman in Texas executed by injection.
Supported by law since Texas’ earliest days, executions like hers remain at the heart of a raging dispute pitting most Texans against an array of death penalty opponents here and abroad.