Death row woman orders last supper

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The Independent Online
Karla Faye Tucker, the woman on death row in Texas who is due to be executed today, tried to win a reprieve yesterday but her chances seem to be fading.

In a letter to the Texan Governor, George Bush, she said: "I am seeking you to commute my sentence and allow me to pay society back by helping others. I can't bring back the lives I took. But I can, if I am allowed, help save lives. That is the only real restitution I can give."

Tucker, who admits killing two people in Houston in 1983 with a hammer and pickaxe, would be the first woman to be executed in Texas since the Civil War. Nationally, only one woman has been put to death since the Supreme Court lifted the ban on executions in1976.

She put in an order for a final meal of a banana, a peach and a salad after the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted to deny her appeal.

The vote erases any hope Tucker and supporters, from the Pope to MEPs, have of preventing her walk to the death chamber in Huntsville jail today. She is scheduled to be dispatched by injection soon after midnight British time. The decision now binds the hands of Mr Bush, who can only grant a 30-day reprieve. Tucker's lawyers have, however, lodged an appeal before the US Supreme Court in Washington, which last night had taken no action.

Sister of mercy, page 12

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