Suffolk village asks the Governor of Texas to spare the life of British grandmother Linda Carty in honour of historic wartime friendship

June 5, 2010

Broadcasters may download a fuller version

Horham was visited by Governor Perry in 2000 and hosted US troops during WW2. Villagers enjoyed strong friendships with American GIs stationed at the military base there, which endure to this day.

Led by the Reverend David Streeter, the village community has asked Governor Perry to reconsider the case of Linda Carty, a British grandmother who was convicted of planning a murder following a catastrophically flawed trial in Texas. The US Supreme Court recently refused to hear Linda’s case, meaning that all legal avenues are exhausted and her life is in Governor Perry’s hands.

In the video, Horham residents express concerns that Linda’s conviction and death sentence are dangerously unreliable. Linda’s court-appointed defence lawyer Jerry Guerinot has sent more prisoners to death row than any other lawyer in the United States, yet his multiple failures emerged only when the British Government and Reprieve investigated Linda’s case.

Reprieve’s Director Clive Stafford Smith said:

“The people of Horham have great affection and respect for the USA, which makes this video request rather moving to watch. Linda Carty is now in a desperate situation, protesting her innocence and yet facing imminent execution. Linda is constantly asking after Britain, particularly the cricket team, and will be grateful for this show of support and compassion.”

Since her initial trial, no court has taken Linda’s case seriously. It is difficult to get new evidence admitted in US capital appeals — even if that evidence shows the defendant’s innocence. Supreme Court Justice Scalia notoriously stated the current US law last year that it is not unconstitutional to execute an innocent person, provided the conviction was procedurally ‘fair’ at the initial trial stage.

Watch the video here or at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6qzamSY_Jk.

Broadcasters may download the full footage, including extra clips, here: http://files.me.com/emmanuellepurdon/ir2ftd.mov

More details on Linda’s disastrous case at www.reprieve.org.uk/lindacarty. For more information please contact Katherine O’Shea katherine.oshea@reprieve.org.uk 020 7427 1099/07931592674.

Notes for Editors:

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.’