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The state of Texas is preparing to execute on Wednesday its 500th inmate since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. The inmate on death row is a female Crossroad Bible Institute graduate.
"Whether you believe in the death penalty or not is irrelevant right now. We should all be able to agree that a moratorium must be placed on executions until the ultimate penalty can be administered justly," said CBI's president, Dr. David Schuringa, in a statement on Tuesday.
Kimberley McCarthy was convicted of murdering her neighbor, a retired professor, in 1997, after what the state says was a confrontation that broke out between the two. McCarthy apparently broke into Dorothy Booth's house with the intent of robbing her to pay for cocaine.
According to The Associated Press, McCarthy was found to have used a butcher knife and candelabra in the crime. The knife was used to sever Booth's finger to take her wedding ring. McCarthy has also been tied to two other killings, and stands to become the first female put to death in nearly three years in America, and the 13th overall since capital punishment was reinstated.
McCarthy has appealed against the decision, claiming that the jury was racially biased. Her execution date was already granted a reprieve in January while her lawyers appealed the case, but unless she is pardoned or her sentence is stayed, she is set to be executed on Wednesday via lethal injection.
CBI, which is a nonprofit prison ministry that claims to have over 45,000 students worldwide studying through satellite campuses, revealed that McCarthy earned her certificate in 2006, and received high marks from instructors during the discipleship program.
"Pray for Kimberly and her family during this difficult time. Also pray that justice will be equitably and compassionately served throughout the country," CBI stated.
The nonprofit group provided readers with statistics revealing that although African Americans like McCarthy make up only about 12 percent of Texas' population, they have accounted for 37 percent of those executed since 1976. Moreover, 60 percent of women put to death in Texas have been African American, and 39 percent of current death row inmates are African American.
Dennis Longmire, a criminal justice professor at Sam Houston State University, told AP, "Texas continues to march to a different beat" when it comes to capital punishment, describing the execution total, which is substantially higher than any other state, as "staggering."
There has been a "pervasive influence of race in administration of the death penalty and the inadequacy of counsel – a longstanding issue here," Longmire added.
Currently, capital punishment is legal in 32 states. The Roman Catholic Church has campaigned hard against the death penalty in America, arguing that all human life deserves to be protected.
Carol Hogan, Pastoral Projects and Communications director of the California Catholic Conference, told The Christian Post in October 2012: "The Catholic Church teaches us that all human life is sacred – even flawed life. If you study the entire panoply of Church teaching you will understand that it comes from tradition, revelation (scripture) and the wisdom of the Church fathers – all of which point us toward human thriving."