Kelly Gissendaner, a Georgia woman, is scheduled to be executed tonight. Georgia has not executed a woman since 1945, according to The Daily Beast. Since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, 15 women have been executed in the U.S., according to the Death Penalty Information Center, and the execution of Kelly will be the sixteenth.
The last meal requested by Kelly was two Burger King Whoppers, fries, salad, corn bread, popcorn, cherry-vanilla ice cream and lemonade to drink. Kelly’s execution was originally planned for last week, but was rescheduled to tonight at 7 p.m. because of anticipated bad weather, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Gissendaner, 46, was convicted of murdering her husband, although she was not involved in the actual killing of her husband. Although Gissendaner’s formal appeals and request for clemency have been exhausted, yesterday clergy throughout Georgia and the rest of the country urged courts to spare her on the basis that Kelly accepted responsibility for her actions, and while incarcerated, she received a theology degree and went on to teach other inmates, according to NBC News.
Clergy also pointed out that the man who physically killed her husband, her former boyfriend, only received life in prison and was spared the death penalty. “There are no excuses for what I did. I will never understand how I let myself fall into such evil,” Kelly Gissendaner told the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles last week before they denied her clemency petition, according to the Inquisitr.
Other women on death row were not involved in the actual act of murdering another person, but nevertheless may still be killed by the state.
Emilia Carr, 30, is the youngest woman on death row. Carr was convicted of killing her boyfriend’s wife by suffocating her with a plastic bag and duct tape. Carr claims that she was not at the scene when the woman was killed, and there is no forensic evidence tying her to the crime. Her boyfriend confessed, and when presented with his confession, she told the police that her boyfriend wanted her to “try to snap her neck,” and then she told police, “I didn’t really try,” as reported by ABC News.
Kelly Gissendaner was sentenced to death by lethal injection after being found guilty of the 1997 plot that killed her husband, Douglas. Like Emilia Carr, Kelly did not do the actual killing. Instead, her boyfriend, Gregory Owen, confessed to doing that. Owen was spared the death penalty due to his cooperation with authorities and is now serving a life sentence, but can apply for parole in eight years, according to Inforum.com.
Before trial, Kelly Gissendaner and her boyfriend were both offered the same plea bargains, life in prison, with eligibility to apply for parole after 25 years. Owen took the deal and Kelly did not as reported by KPRC in Houston.
[Photo credit – Georgia Department of Corrections]