TV & Movies

Meet The British Grandma On Death Row

Susanna Reid’s new ITV documentary explores a controversial case.

'British Grandma On Death Row'

Linda Carty is the only British woman on death row in the western world. She was given a death sentence for kidnapping and murdering 25-year-old Joana Rodriguez as part of a plot to steal the young mother’s newborn baby. Carty, 50, is currently being held at Mountain View in Texas, and has faced execution for almost twenty years after losing a number of appeals. Now, a true crime documentary presented by Good Morning Britain host Susanna Reid explores the controversial case. Including filmed conversations with Carty, as well as lawyers on both sides of the argument, it’s set to be a thrilling watch.

In the days leading up to the murder, Carty — who lived in the same apartment block as Rodriguez— told her husband and several neighbours that she was expecting to give birth the next day, though witnesses said she didn’t look like she was pregnant. Police arrested her after she told them the location of two cars containing the victim’s body, and the victim’s unharmed baby.

Capital punishment remains highly controversial and has been abolished in 70% of the world’s countries, and as Susanna Reid discovers on her travels through Texas, Carty’s conviction isn’t necessarily a clear-cut case, either.

After previously being arrested for car theft and impersonating an FBI agent back in 1992, Carty maintains that she was framed for murder after assisting law enforcement as a drug informant. Meanwhile, the three other defendants who carried out the murder and kidnap, Chris Robinson, Gerald Anderson and Carlos Williams, all dodged the death penaty after testifying against Carty, while her law firm Baker Botts has since argued that Carty’s original lawyer Jerry Guerinot — who never won a single death penalty case in his career — didn’t handle her defense properly. Carty claims that he failed to contact crucial witnesses who could help persuade a jury she should be spared the death penalty, telling The Guardian in 2004 that “evidence was concealed and manufactured to put me here. And the only two people that could have cleared me were not contacted."

British Grandma on Death Row with Susanna Reid airs on Mar 22 at 10pm on ITV