UK

Daughter's appeal over Briton on US death row

Linda Carty
Image caption Carty's co-defendants received reduced jail terms for their testimonies

The daughter of a British woman on death row in Texas has appealed to MPs to help prevent her mother's execution.

Jovelle Carty Joubert, speaking at the House of Commons, said her mother was a "scapegoat" who had not had justice.

The US Supreme Court has refused to review 51-year-old Linda Carty's abduction and murder convictions.

Campaigners have branded her trial "catastrophically flawed". Alleged problems include failing to contact the UK government so it could give support.

Carty, who was born on St Kitts, in the Caribbean, to parents from the British territory of Anguilla, was convicted in 2002 over the kidnap and murder of Joana Rodriguez.

Ms Rodriguez was seized with her four-day-old son by three men in Houston on 16 May 2001, and later found suffocated with duct-tape on her mouth and a plastic bag over her head. The baby was found unharmed in a car.

Carty has always maintained her innocence, claiming she was framed by the kidnappers because of her earlier work as an informant to US drug enforcement authorities.

Ms Carty Joubert, at a press conference at the House of Commons on Tuesday, said: "We haven't had justice, my mother is basically a scapegoat."

Carty is being held at a death row prison in Gatesville, Texas, and could be executed within months unless an intervention is made by the state governor.

"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," said Ms Carty Joubert.

Image caption Ms Carty Joubert is trying to rally more UK support for her mother

"Knowing that she won't be on this earth for something she didn't do makes it harder," she added.

The daughter, from Texas, is due to meet Foreign Office officials on Wednesday to press her case, but has been unable to secure meetings with any government ministers.

Clive Stafford Smith, director of legal rights charity Reprieve, said the case represented the "first test of the coalition" on protecting its citizens' fundamental right to life.

"It does seem to me to be reasonable that the British government says to the US government, 'We are your closest ally, we would appreciate it if you didn't go killing our citizens,'" Mr Stafford Smith said.

The Foreign Office has previously complained of "ineffective counsel" at a court hearing in support of Carty.

It is claimed Texas authorities and her defence lawyer neglected to inform the British consulate that she held a UK dependent territory passport.

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