A great day for Linda Carty, and for justice
This is a great day for Linda Carty, and for justice. In a rare move, a Texas court has granted Linda an evidentiary hearing, to examine evidence uncovered by Reprieve that the key witnesses at her original trial lied.
If successful, this could mean that Linda will finally get a new trial, and the justice that she deserves.
Watch Reprieve attorney Celia talking about this breakthrough in Linda’s case:
An incompetent lawyer, prosecutorial misconduct and a trial riddled with holes led to Linda’s conviction for the murder of Joana Rodriguez in 2001. She has now been on death row in Texas for over a decade, and has been dangerously close to execution since the US Supreme Court refused to hear her case.
But after years of investigation, we have uncovered evidence that the key witnesses at her original trial lied, because they were threatened by the prosecutor into testifying against her.
Among the prosecution’s key witnesses was Christopher Robinson, the only person who claimed to have actually seen Linda murder Joana Rodriguez. Christopher has now admitted that the Texas authorities “threatened me and intimidated me” into identifying Linda as the culprit.
He has also admitted that he never saw Linda kill anyone, and that he lied at Linda’s original trial. He said the Texan District Attorneys “[told] me I would get the death penalty myself if Linda Carty did not get the death penalty.”
“It is everyone’s worst nightmare to be executed for a crime they did not commit. I am living that nightmare.”
Linda Carty, speaking from death row in Texas
Christopher isn’t the only recanting witness – several others have since admitted that the Texan prosecutors “blackmailed” them and as a result, they lied or omitted evidence.
Charles Mathis, a former Drugs Enforcement Agency (DEA) officer who was Linda’s handler while she worked as an informer, has stepped forward to reveal the lengths the prosecutors went to obtain the testimony they needed.
He has disclosed that when he told the Texas authorities that he “knew that Linda did not have it in her to kill anyone,” and so did not want to testify against her, the District Attorney “threatened me with an invented affair that I was supposed to have had with Linda.”
It has long been clear that Linda should have a new trial because of the catalogue of errors in her first.
That a prosecutor can threaten witnesses to lie under oath and testify against a woman who, as a direct result, is convicted of murder and sentenced to death is truly devastating. We look forward to giving Linda a day in court that is not rigged against her from the start.
There is much to do in the lead-up to Linda’s evidentiary hearing. We will continue to update you, and tell you how you can help secure justice for Linda very soon.