Gran Appeals To UK To Save Her From Execution

Greg Milam, US correspondent

The British Government has said it is doing all it can the save the life of a British grandmother who has spent 11 years on Death Row in the United States.

Linda Carty, 53, could receive a date for her execution at any moment after her final attempts to secure a new appeal failed. 

She would become the first British woman to be executed in 50 years.

She was convicted of killing a young mother in Texas a decade ago but has always said she was framed.

Her lawyers believe she was failed by the American legal system and admit her situation is "desperate".

Carty spoke to Sky News on Death Row in Texas and told us: "I am 110% innocent. I know I didn't commit this crime. They took 11 years of my life for something I know I didn't do."

She was born on the Caribbean island of St Kitts before its independence from Britain and now wants support from the UK.

"If you don't then you're telling me there's no value to my life and if you do intercede it is saying that every British national, it doesn't matter whether we were born in the mother country or in the colonies, we matter," Carty said.

"We are British. I can't wash off my nationality with soap and water. I am going to always be British."

Ms Carty said she feels sympathy for the family of victim Joana Rodriguez.

"She was somebody's child too, somebody's daughter. For me it's not only a healing process but its to show the families that the person you've been hating all these years did not commit this crime," she said.

Ms Carty is being represented by the campaign group Reprieve. 

Director Clive Stafford-Smith said her best chance of avoiding the death penalty was clemency.

The Foreign Office said it is putting pressure on the authorities in Texas.

"The Prime Minister and British Government are deeply concerned by the position Ms Carty is in," it said in a statement.

"We are committed to using all appropriate influence to prevent the execution of any British national.

"We are working closely with Ms Carty's legal team to ensure their work to secure clemency is supported by appropriate political representations."

Since her conviction, Ms Carty has been held at the Mountain View unit in Gatesville where all of the women on death row in Texas are held.

She admitted she fears her death sentence.

"I won't get up and ask the British Government to go out in the public and lobby for me had I known that I am guilty because then it would be an embarrassment not only to myself and my family but also the country that I love.

"So for me when I say I am innocent and that I didn't commit this crime I mean that."

:: Meanwhile, the Connecticut Senate has voted to repeal the state's death penalty, moving it one step closer to becoming the fifth US state in five years to abandon capital punishment . The measure now moves to the House of Representatives.