Appeal seeks halt to Texas woman's execution

HOUSTON (AP) - The lawyer for a Dallas County woman set to die next week has appealed to block her execution.

Kimberly McCarthy on June 26 would be the first woman put to death in the U.S. since 2010 and the 500th prisoner executed in Texas since the death penalty resumed in 1982.

The 52-year-old former nursing home therapist was condemned for the 1997 fatal stabbing, beating and robbery of a 71-year-old neighbor, Dorothy Booth.

McCarthy's appeal late Tuesday in state courts contends black jurors were improperly excluded from her trial, and her lawyers should have challenged the exclusions. Lawyer Maurie Levin says the punishment should be stopped in light of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision backing another Texas prisoner who raised similar arguments about attorney competence.

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