Death row cell for Trafalgar Square
By politics.co.uk staff
Activists are setting up a life-sized death row cell in Trafalgar Square to highlight the plight of a British citizen awaiting execution in Texas.
Linda Carty has been sentenced to die by lethal injection for ordering the murder of Joana Rodriguez, but campaigners highlight a number of inconsistencies and errors in the conduct of her case which they allege makes the conviction unsound.
The US failed to advise the UK of the arrest, as required by the Vienna Convention on the Right to Consular Assistance. This meant that Carty had to accept a court-appointed lawyer whose record is the subject of considerable controversy, having landed 20 of his clients on death row – more than any other defence attorney in the US, according to campaigners.
British human rights group Reprieve said he only met with Carty for 15 minutes before trial and subsequently fabricated a story about how she refused to see him. He allegedly missed obvious flaws and inconsistencies in the evidence against Carty.
In a desperate bid to attract public attention to the case, the human rights group is setting up a life-sized replica of the cell in which Carty spends her days in the courtyard of St Martin’s in the Field in Trafalgar Square, where Amnesty International was formed.
“Linda faces execution very soon now,” said Reprieve’s director, Clive Stafford Smith.
“There is no lonelier place than a death row cell, and no greater power imbalance than that between a condemned prisoner and the government that wants to kill them. I encourage visitors to enter Death’s Waiting Room and imagine yourself in Linda’s position – I’m sure it will be an unforgettable experience.”
The cell, which will sit in the location from August 12th to September 5th, will be filled with family photos, cricket pictures, books Carty read recently and a TV showing Carty singing and various lawyers discussing her case.
Visitors will be encouraged to sit in the cell for 15 minutes and write a letter to the Texan authorities to demand that her life be spared.