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Supreme Court is last hope for woman facing execution

Karla Faye Tucker's lawyer says Texas is not a forgiving place. He hoped the U.S. Supreme Court would prove more merciful for the 38-year-old pickax killer facing execution Tuesday night.

The Texas parole board on Monday unanimously refused to recommend clemency for Tucker, a born-again Christian trying to keep from becoming the first woman executed in Texas since the Civil War and the first in the nation since 1984.Without the board's backing, Gov. George W. Bush was limited to only a one-time, 30-day reprieve. He said he would not make that decision until after a ruling from the high court.

Tucker's lawyers said a reprieve was unlikely.

"Texas has no mercy," said her attorney, David Botsford. "The clemency process in this state is a farce."

The Supreme Court was left as the last, best hope for heading off the death penalty. Tucker's appeal centered on the commutation process, contending it was unfair and unconstitutional because she didn't have a chance to personally plea for her life.