Kimberly McCarthy execution delayed until April

The Texas death chamber in Huntsville, TX.

A judge has delayed the execution of Kimberly McCarthy, who would have been only the 13th woman to be executed in US history, until April.

It was unclear Tuesday afternoon whether prosecutors would appeal the reprieve, The Associated Press reported.

McCarthy's execution by lethal injection would have marked the first time in nearly three years that a female inmate had been put to death, the Associated Press noted.

McCarthy, 51, was sentenced to death for robbing, beating and fatally stabbing Dorothy Booth, a retired college psychology professor. The AP said it was one of three killings linked to McCarthy who was addicted to crack cocaine at the time.

Reuters noted that women are rarely executed in the US, with only 12 female inmates facing the death penalty since 1976, when the Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment.

"Although women commit about 10 percent of murders, capital cases also require some aggravating factor like rape, robbery, or physical abuse," said Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center.

A petition was created by the family and friends of McCarthy on, calling on Texas Gov. Rick Perry to pardon her.

"Kimberly suffered from a severe addiction to crack cocaine in the 1990's, and her life went into a downward spiral, into the underworld of drugs. Her association with the wrong people coupled with her out of control drug use became a lethal combination which led to tragedy," the petition reads.

It had 1,644 signatures as of the writing of this piece.