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Texas executes woman, first in U.S. in nearly three years

(Reuters) - Texas on Wednesday executed by lethal injection a woman convicted of stabbing her elderly neighbor to death in 1997, the first U.S. execution of a woman in nearly three years, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said.

Kimberly McCarthy, 52, was pronounced dead at 6:37 p.m. CDT (2337 GMT) at a Texas state prison, the department said. She was convicted of killing Dorothy Booth, 71, in 1997, cutting off her ring finger and stealing a diamond ring that she then pawned.

McCarthy was the eighth person executed in Texas this year and the 500th put to death in the state since the United States restored capital punishment in 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

Executions of women remain rare in the United States. Of the 1,338 inmates executed since the death penalty's reinstatement, only 13 have been women. Before McCarthy, the last woman executed was Teresa Lewis by Virginia in September 2010.

(Reporting by Lisa Maria Garza; Editing by Dina Kyriakidou)

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