Linda Anita Carty

Professor Jon Yorke acted as the lead legal advisor and drafter of the amicus curiae briefs submitted by the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, in the defence of Linda Anita Carty.


Carty is a dual citizen of the United Kingdom and of the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, is on death row in Mountain View Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Based on its obligations to its citizens and consistent with its policy, the United Kingdom submitted amicus curiae briefs to state its position of support for each of its citizens to insure that fairness prevails in the administration of justice.

The United Kingdom provided amicus curiae briefs in Carty’s case in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and in the United States Supreme Court, and brought to the attention of the courts the United States’ obligations under international law with respect to the right to a fair trial, including in particular the right to a review and whether that right requires a cumulative error review.


The summary of the argument presented to the Supreme Court was:

On 1 September 2016, the 177th Judicial District Court, Harris County, Texas held that the State of Texas failed to disclose key exculpatory witness statements to the defense, in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963) (Ex Parte Linda Carty, No. 877592-B, September 1, 2016). That determination was upheld by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in its decision that is the subject of this appeal. On 15 October 2009, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit determined that the quality of the representation provided to the Petitioner by defense counsel fell below the objective standard of reasonableness in Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984). The cumulative impact of these errors on the fairness of the Petitioner’s trial has not been considered. Amicus submits this brief in support of the Petitioner’s request for the Court to grant Certiorari on the above Questions Presented. The right to a fair trial is protected under U.S. law. It is also enshrined in multiple treaties and international legal instruments. Amicus respectfully submits that the right to a fair trial under international law requires a cumulative error review to determine the fundamental fairness of the proceedings that resulted in Petitioner’s sentence of death.

The United Kingdom views on the death penalty as a human rights issue and seeks to restrict the scope of the punishment and encourage adherence to international standards which contribute to a world without the death penalty, see HMG Strategy for the Abolition of the Death Penalty 2010-2015, Human Rights and Democracy Department, Revised, October 2011, Point 11,

The legal teams which joined Professor Yorke in writing the amicus curie briefs on behalf of the United Kingdom were:

In the Supreme Court of the United States

  • Ms. Ishaani Shrivastava, Barrister, Devereux Chambers, London
  • Mr Stanley G. Schneider, Schneider & McKinney P.C. Houston, Texas

In the Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas

  • Mr Mark George, Q.C., Barrister, Garden Court North Chambers, Manchester
  • Miss Joanne Cecil, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers, London
  • Mr Stanley G. Schneider, Schneider & McKinney P.C. Houston, Texas

The legal brief for this case can be found here.