Nine inspirational women join fight for Linda Carty; video appeal released for International Women’s Day

March 8, 2010

Nine high-profile British women today joined the fight to save British grandmother Linda Carty from execution, releasing the film ‘I Support the Fight. I Support Linda Carty.’ for International Women’s Day.

Led by crime writer Martina Cole, the two-minute video appeal features actors Juliet Stevenson and Anna Chancellor, entrepreneur Martha Lane Fox, writers Esther Freud, Pauline Melville and Margaret Busby OBE, television presenter Diane Louise Jordan and Reprieve’s executive director Clare Algar. If Linda is killed this summer she will be the first British woman executed since Ruth Ellis.

The film may be viewed on You Tube or at Reprieve now. To download a high-quality copy, including extra footage for broadcast use, please go to http://files.me.com/emmanuellepurdon/fstzhp.mov .

Linda Carty, a British grandmother, was sentenced to death in February 2002 by a Texan court, largely because of multiple failures by her notoriously incompetent court-appointed attorney. Last month, a highly unusual video plea was submitted to the US Supreme Court in support of Linda, who faces execution within months unless the Court agrees to rehear her case. The British Government also submitted a very strong argument on Linda’s behalf, stating that Texas’s failure to inform the British Consulate of her arrest prevented them from providing Linda with a competent lawyer — which would likely have saved her life.

Martina Cole, crime writer, says:

“Linda Carty has been failed by the system, so the courts never heard her side of the story. Some people can’t fight back, so you have to stand up and fight for them. Linda needs all the help she can get.”

Clare Algar, Executive Director of Reprieve, says:

“Linda Carty could not afford a decent lawyer, and this may cost her her life. We ask the women of the world to come together to help us stop Linda’s execution. ”

For further information, please contact Katherine O’Shea at Reprieve’s Press Office katherine.oshea@reprieve.org.uk 020 7427 1099 or go to www.reprieve.org.uk/savelindacarty

Notes for Editors:

Martina Cole was born and brought up in Essex. She is the bestselling author of fourteen novels set in London’s gangland, and her most recent three paperbacks have gone straight to No. 1 in the Sunday Times on first publication. Total sales of Martina’s novels stand at over eight million copies.

Reprieve, a legal action charity, uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay. Reprieve investigates, litigates and educates, working on the frontline, to provide legal support to prisoners unable to pay for it themselves. Reprieve promotes the rule of law around the world, securing each person’s right to a fair trial and saving lives.

Clive Stafford Smith is the founder of Reprieve and has spent 25 years working on behalf of people facing the death penalty in the USA.

Reprieve’s current casework involves representing 33 prisoners in the US prison at Guantánamo Bay, working on behalf of prisoners facing the death penalty, and conducting ongoing investigations into the rendition and the secret detention of ‘ghost prisoners’ in the so-called ‘war on terror.’

ReprievePO Box 52742London EC4P 4WSTel: 020 7353 4640Fax: 020 7353 4641Email: info@reprieve.org.ukWebsite: www.reprieve.org.ukReprieve is a charitable company limited by guarantee; Registered Charity No. 1114900 Registered Company No. 5777831 (England) Registered Office 2-6 Cannon Street London EC4M 6YH; Chair: Lord Bingham; Patrons: Alan Bennett, Julie Christie, Martha Lane Fox, Gordon Roddick, Jon Snow, Marina Warner