New film on British death row grandmother Linda Carty

November 21, 2011

The catastrophic case of Linda Carty, a British grandmother now facing imminent execution in Texas, is to be featured in a new television documentary film at 8pm on Monday 28th November on the UK’s Channel 4.

In the hour-long film, commissioned by C4 and produced by Bristol-based Testimony Films, film-maker Steve Humphries goes in search of the real Linda Carty. After first meeting Linda in Mountainview Unit prison, he sets out to discover who she is, where she came from and how she ended up on Texas’s notorious death row.Born on the Commonwealth island of St Kitts, Linda Carty may be the first British woman to be executed since Ruth Ellis over 50 years ago. She was convicted of capital murder in 2002 thanks largely to her famously incompetent defence lawyer. Court-appointed attorney Jerry Guerinot met Linda just once for fifteen minutes, obtained state funding for investigations he never carried out and claimed he was too busy with his daughter’s wedding to work on the case.

The film also promises to be a revealing account of Linda’s extraordinary life as a primary school teacher, a dedicated single mother who overcame the stigma of illegitimacy and a victim of rape and abuse who became a confidential informant for the Drugs Enforcement Administration.

With contributions from family, friends, lawyers and Linda herself, Channel 4 predicts “an intimate and emotional portrait of a woman facing death”.

Reprieve’s Director Clive Stafford Smith said: “If Linda had had a decent lawyer investigating her case at trial, she certainly would not be facing the death penalty today, and she may well have been acquitted. I’m glad that Steve Humphries has taken the time to investigate Linda’s extraordinary life and am sure that her humanity and spirit will shine through in the film.”ENDSNotes to editors1. For further information please see Linda Carty’s case file or contact Katherine O’Shea in Reprieve’s press office on +44 (0)20 7427 1082 / +44 (0)7931592674 or Steve Humphries at Testimony Films: steve.humphries@testimonyfilms.com2. For more about the documentary The British Woman on Death Row please seeChannel 4 or contact Testimony Films. Read a New York Times piece about Jerry Guerinot‘s incompetence. Watch a video featuring high profile British women speaking in support of Linda Carty, or Clive Stafford Smith talking about the case. Listen to Linda speaking from Death Row to London’s Trafalgar Square or to her daughter Jovelle Carty-Joubert talking to the BBC Today programme. 3. 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 15 prisoners in the US prison at Guantánamo Bay, assisting over 70 prisoners facing the death penalty around the world, and conducting ongoing investigations into the rendition and the secret detention of ‘ghost prisoners’ in the so-called ‘war on terror.’ Follow Reprieve on twitter: @ReprieveUK; if you were forwarded this release, sign up to join our press mailing list.ReprievePO Box 52742London EC4P 4WSTel: 020 7353 4640Fax: 020 7353 4641Website: @ReprieveUKReprieve 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: Ken Macdonald QC; Patrons: Alan Bennett, Julie Christie, Martha Lane Fox, Gordon Roddick, Richard Rogers, Ruth Rogers, Jon Snow, Marina Warner, Vivienne Westwood