By VennerRoad, 15th Oct 2016
Who is Linda Anita Carty, and what is her connection with Krishna Maharaj, a man she has never met?
Convicted murderess Linda Carty
Like Maharaj, Carty languishes in an American prison. She was convicted of what can only be described as an insane murder in Houston. Maharaj was convicted of a double murder of a father and son in a Miami hotel room, a crime which had a rational if cruel motivation. While they were both sentenced to death, only Carty is on death row, Maharaj having his sentence reduced to life imprisonment in 2002, the same year Carty was convicted. The connection between them is a well-spoken English lawyer whose charisma is outshone only by his duplicity. Clive Stafford Smith succeeded in obtaining new evidentiary hearings for both these cold-blooded killers. Both were rejected because the evidence against Maharaj is overwhelming, and if anything the evidence against Carty even more so.
The Maharaj hearing was dismissed in 2014 when the court agreed with the State that the new so-called evidence adduced by Stafford Smith amounted to six degrees of separation. Although he was not apparently involved with the recent Carty appeal, it has his fingerprints all over it.
If you are not au fait with the Carty case, you will find all the information you need here and then some. In 2001, Carty, murdered a young mother, smothering her to death in the trunk of a car with a plastic bag. She had duped a group of small time criminals into kidnapping Joana Rodriguez and her newborn son whom she intended to pass off as her own. She told her fellow conspirators they could expect to find not only money but a massive stash of drugs which they could sell. This was a lie. The men forced their way into the apartment where the Mexican national lived, brutalised its two male inhabitants, and snatched the victims at gunpoint. Carty’s original intention had been to kidnap the nearly full term expectant mother and cut the baby out of her; anyone who would even consider committing such an act is surely not living on planet Earth.
Needless to say, the crime was soon solved, and Carty was brought to book. At her trial, which did not see her testify, she blamed the sordid events of that night in their entirety on her co-defendants, claiming she was the victim of some outlandish conspiracy to frame her. Her legal team were bound to follow her instructions, and she was duly convicted. The others received heavy sentences; she alone was sentenced to death.
The case received quite a bit of coverage in the UK as Carty is technically a British citizen, and in 2010 the charity Reprieve - which was founded by Stafford Smith - began raising awareness of her impending doom. This received heavy publicity because of the manner in which it began. In 2008, the famous sculptor Antony Gormley came up with a novel idea of bringing art to the people; the empty plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square would be used as living art. Ordinary people could take turns to stand on top of it for an hour at a time and do anything they wanted, eg read poetry. It would host a total of 2,400 people over a period of one hundred days. Reprieve were allocated a ticket, and put a cardboard cut-out of Carty atop it while a tape played her appeal to the people of Britain.
What does a guilty woman on death row do to try to save her neck? The same as a guilty man, lie though her teeth. This is what she did, and Reprieve were only too happy to spread these lies. It is not entirely clear how many of the lies were Carty’s and how many came from Reprieve, but Stafford Smith and his clowns joined in the defamation of Carty’s lead attorney with relish, blaming him rather than her for her predicament. The media campaign against Jerry Guerinot was a wonder to behold, but it doesn’t hold water.
It would be tiresome to yet again debunk all these lies here, suffice it to say that while they have been ignored in the United States by and large, they have been parroted uncritically by many people who should know better. Enter the phrase “catastrophically flawed trial” in your search engine and see how many entries for Carty come up. Literally no mainstream media sources have bothered to fact check this case, although in 2012 the German film-maker Werner Herzog produced an honest documentary about it.
In the US, the law firm Baker Botts took on Carty as a pro bono client, and it was them who represented her at the evidentiary hearing, which saw Judge Garner dismiss her application as totally without merit on September 1. Although Stafford Smith and his gang appear to have had no direct connection with Carty’s latest and hopefully final appeal, it is difficult to imagine how it came about without someone actively seeking to undermine her conviction by persuading witnesses to claim they had been pressurised into giving correct evidence.
In the Maharaj case, Stafford Smith personally sought out witnesses to shift the blame from the guilty man to some ectoplasmic conspiracy of drug dealers. The Carty hearing saw retired Drug Enforcement Administration agent Charles Mathis signing an affidavit to the effect that Carty is a wonderful person who would never hurt anyone. Mr Mathis was being wilfully blind as he must surely know how Carty came to be a DEA snitch.
Points of contention raised by Carty’s legal team include Brady violations (failure to disclose all relevant evidence) and Giglio violations (failure to declare deals made with defendants).Linda Carty and Reprieve have always claimed that the innocent Carty was framed by the real perpetrators, who were given preferential treatment while she was given the death penalty. This was because the State took the view, correctly, that not only had she murdered Joana Rodriguez but that she was the sole instigator, and if she had not wilfully misled her co-defendants, no crime at all would have been committed.
Judge Garner’s ruling does point out - at pages 19-21 - that the State did not disclose absolutely all its evidence to the defense, but concludes that:
In considering the Brady violations cumulatively...the Court finds there is no reasonable likelihood it could have affected judgments returned by the jury and does not meet the Brady materiality standard.
Back in the UK, Stafford Smith is continuing to spin this story as a miscarriage of justice while continuing to hold out his hand:
The Reprieve lawyers and investigators who work on cases like Linda and Andy’s are entirely funded by people like you.
Make a donation now to help defend prisoners facing the death penalty
The other person mentioned here appears to be a bona fide political prisoner rather than a common murderer. It remains to be seen if or when Carty will be executed, but if any woman ever deserved to die for a single murder, it is surely her.
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