As reported by the Guardian, Kelly Renee Gissendaner was executed with a lethal injection for slaying her husband in contrivance with her lover. “She targeted him and his death was intentional”, Douglas Gissendaner’s family said in a written statement. Gissendaner’s three children visited her but were not able to see her on Tuesday because they were giving evidence to the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, Rev Bacote said.
Meanwhile, the Georgia Supreme Court denied a request from Gissendaner for a stay on Tuesday night; two justices dissented from that decision.
It was announced Tuesday afternoon that the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles decision on February 25, denying clemency, stands.
“As the murderer, she’s been given more rights and opportunity over the last 18 years than she ever afforded to Doug, who, again, is the victim here”, Doug’s family said in a statement. She was set to die twice this year already – in February and March – but the executions were scrapped due to inclement weather and concerns about one of the execution drugs, respectively. “You know I was going to slice my wrists and I was in lock down”, Barber said.
She was the 16th woman to be executed in the United States since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty.
According to Gissendaner’s children, she turned her life around during the time she was incarcerated, and reportedly sang “Amazing Graze” during the course of her execution.
In Georgia, Gissendaner was put to death after the federal courts refused to intercede and the state panel turned down an application for clemency that drew the support of Pope Francis. I hope they can find healing.
Her supporters argued that Gissendaner – who watched from her auto as Owen murdered her husband and had planned to profit from the death by cashing in an insurance policy – was believed to be a changed woman who found God behind bars. Owen testified against Kelly Gissendaner and is serving a life sentence for the murder. Her oldest child, Brandon, who had not previously addressed the board, wanted to make a plea for his mother’s life, said Susan Casey, an attorney for Gissendaner. Pope Francis also called for an end to the death penalty in the U.S.
In that letter, he told the board that as “one of the shepherds of the Catholic Church in Georgia, I seek to contribute to a civilization that promotes human dignity by striking a balance between the demands of justice and the need for charity”. She made several appeals for clemency, but the board denied her appeals, including the request made on her behalf by Pope Francis. Kelly Gissendaner arrived at the scene just as her husband died.