Daughter pleads for death row mother

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The daughter of a British woman currently on death row in the US pleaded with MPs yesterday to help prevent her mother's execution.

Linda Carty, 51, could be given the lethal injection within months after the Supreme Court refused to review a murder conviction which campaigners claim resulted from a "catastrophically flawed" trial.

Her daughter, Jovelle Carty Joubert, has flown to the UK from her home in Texas as part of desperate efforts to rally support for the condemned woman, who has always protested her innocence. She intends to meet Foreign Office officials and MPs, but has so far failed to secure a meeting with any ministers.

Speaking at a press conference, Ms Joubert called on politicians to increase the pressure on US authorities over her mother's case.

"It is horrible. I have to see my mum in a cage and in shackles. I do not get any contact, I can't hold her hand," she said. Carty was convicted by the state of Texas in 2002 over the kidnap and murder of Joana Rodriguez, who was seized alongside her four-day-old son by three men on 16 May 2001. The baby was later found unharmed, but Ms Rodriguez had been suffocated with duct-tape and a plastic bag over her head.

Carty claims she was framed by the men who carried out the abduction due to her earlier work as an informant for the Drug Enforcement Agency. The legal rights charity Reprieve claims she was given an incompetent defence lawyer during her trial who, amongst other alleged failings, neglected to inform the British Government so it could intervene on her behalf.

Documents filed with the Supreme Court accuse the court-appointed trial counsel Jerry Guerinot of a "deplorable" performance. The Foreign Office also complained of "ineffective counsel" in court filings.