Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Only Woman On Georgia's Death Row Executed by Lethal Injection – Despite Appeal from Pope Francis

Only Woman On Georgia's Death Row Executed by Lethal Injection

Kelly Renee Gissendaner, the only woman on Georgia's death row, has been executed by lethal injection, according to multiple reports.

Despite pleas from her children, a former state Supreme Court justice and even Pope Francis, Gissendaner was executed just after midnight on Wednesday, making her the first woman in 70 years to be executed in the state, the Associated Press reports.

Grissendaner was originally set to be executed at 7 p.m. on Tuesday after being denied clemency by the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles.

However, last minute appeals delayed the execution. NBC reports that the Supreme Court denied one stay of execution at 8:30 p.m., but still had one more request to review.

According to AP, the last request was denied about two hours before the execution.

18 years ago, Gissendaner was found guilty of the 1997 murder of her husband, in which she and her lover, Gregory Owen, conspired to kill him.

According to ABC, one request for reconsideration cited a statement from former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Norman Fletcher, which said that Gissendaner's sentence was not equal to the role she played in the crime.

Jeremy Campbell Verified account @Jeremy11alive
Kelly Gissendaner sang Amazing Grace all the way thru before dying according to witness #11Alive

She was very emotional, sobbing. She called ex husband "amazing man who died because of me." - @11hullinger #11Alive
Kelly Gissendaner asked to tell her kids she went out singing Amazing Grace. #11Alive
The statement also noted that Owen, who actually did the fatal stabbing, was sentenced to life in prison, but will be eligible for parole in 2022.

Pleas from two of three of the prisoner's children, echo the chief justice, as they ask that their mother's life be spared because of the suffering they would endure after losing a second parent.

However, loved ones of Douglass Gissendaner – the convicted's husband – feel that she got the sentence she deserved.

NBC reports that his family released a written statement saying, "Kelly planned and executed Doug's murder. She targeted him and his death was intentional."

The statement continues, "In the last 18 years, our mission has been to seek justice for Doug's murder and to keep his memory alive. We have faith in our legal system and do believe that Kelly has been afforded every right that our legal system affords.

"As the murderer, she's been given more rights and opportunity over the last 18 years than she ever afforded to Doug, whom again, is the victim here. She had no mercy, gave him no rights, no choices, nor the opportunity to live his life. His life was not hers to take."

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