Judge halts US woman's execution

A judge has halted the scheduled execution of a Texas woman set for tonight.

She would have been the first woman put to death in the US in three years.

The order from state District Judge Larry Mitchell moves the execution of 51-year-old Kimberly McCarthy to April 3.

The Dallas County District Attorney’s office says it will not appeal.

Lawyers for McCarthy, who is black, argued the jury that convicted and sentenced her to death was selected improperly based on race. It was made up of 11 white people and one black person.

She faced lethal injection for the 1997 beating, stabbing and robbery of a 71-year-old neighbour.

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