"Texas carries out its 500th execution since 1982," is the AP report on the execution of Kimberly McCarthy filed by Juan A. Lozano.
She was pronounced dead at 6:37 p.m. CDT, 20 minutes after Texas prison officials began administering a single lethal dose of pentobarbital.
In her final statement, McCarthy did not mention her status as the 500th inmate to be executed or acknowledge Booth or her family.
"This is not a loss. This is a win. You know where I'm going. I'm going home to be with Jesus. Keep the faith. I love you all," she said, while looking toward her witnesses - her attorney, her spiritual adviser and her ex-husband, New Black Panther Party founder Aaron Michaels.
As the drug started to take effect, McCarthy said, "God is great," before closing her eyes. She took hard, raspy, loud breaths for several seconds before becoming quiet. Then, her chest moved up and down for another minute before she stopped breathing.
Friends and family of Booth told reporters after the execution that they were not conscious that Texas had carried out its 500th execution since 1982. They said their only focus was on Booth's brutal murder.
Five-hundred is "just a number. It doesn't really mean very much," said Randall Browning, who was Booth's godson. "'We're just thinking about the justice that was promised to us by the state of Texas."
In a statement, Maurie Levin, McCarthy's attorney, said "500 is 500 too many. I look forward to the day when we recognize that this pointless and barbaric practice, imposed almost exclusively on those who are poor and disproportionately on people of color, has no place in a civilized society."
Outside the prison, about 40 protesters gathered, carrying signs saying "Death Penalty: Racist and Anti-Poor," "Stop All Executions Now" and "Stop Killing to Stop Killings." As the hour for the execution approached, protesters began chanting and sang the old Negro spiritual "Wade in the Water."
The AP report also noted:
Executions of women are infrequent. McCarthy was the 13th woman put to death in the U.S. and the fourth in Texas, the nation's busiest death penalty state, since the Supreme Court in 1976 allowed capital punishment to resume. In that same period, more than 1,300 male inmates have been executed nationwide, 496 of them in Texas. Virginia is a distant second, nearly 400 executions behind.
It was the 18th execution in an American death penalty state this year. To date there have been a total of 1,338 post-Furman executions since 1977.
Earlier coverage of Kimberly McCarthy's case begins with the preceding post.
I'll have a roundup of additional coverage tomorrow.