Death row Briton loses US appeal

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The Independent US

A British woman on death row in Texas for killing a young mother has lost her final appeal. Linda Carty, 51, faces execution after the US Supreme Court refused to review her abduction and murder case.

Campaigners say her conviction in 2002 for the murder of Joana Rodriguez, 25, was "catastrophically flawed". She was also convicted of snatching Ms Rodriguez's child in Houston in 2001. Katherine O'Shea, from Reprieve, the human rights organisation, said: "It's terrible. Basically, it's the end of the road. Really what happens now is to appeal to the governor for clemency." Rick Parry, the Republican Governor of Texas, has only granted clemency once in 200 cases.

Ms Carty has maintained her innocence and supporters have presented strong evidence to suggest her trial was badly flawed. British Foreign Office officials are among those who made representations urging the Supreme Court to review the case.

The British consulate should have been informed of her arrest "without delay" but only learnt of it after the sentence. The Foreign Office said last night: "We are deeply concerned by the position Linda Carty is now in, and we will be working extremely hard to help her over the coming weeks and months ... we have made our concerns known throughout the legal process. We have also raised her case a number of times through the correct political channels."

Ms Carty, a British national born on St Kitts in the British Virgin Islands, emigrated to the US in 1982 and worked as an undercover informant for the US Drug Enforcement Agency. Unless a stay of execution is granted, Ms Carty will be the first British woman to be executed in 55 years.