Weather Thwarts Execution of Georgia Woman

Winter storm delays Gissendaner execution until Monday
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 26, 2015 12:03 AM CST
Weather Thwarts Execution of Georgia Woman
Kelly Gissendaner, the only woman on Georgia's death row, peers through the slot in her cell door as a guard brings her a cup of ice at Metro State Prison in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bita Honarvar)

The state of Georgia delayed the execution of its only female death row inmate yesterday, ahead of a winter storm forecast to hit many areas with several inches of snow. Kelly Renee Gissendaner, 46, had been scheduled for execution at 7pm at the state prison in Jackson. The execution has been reset for Monday, according to a Department of Corrections statement. The execution was rescheduled because of winter weather and associated scheduling issues, according to a department spokeswoman, who says a review of department records indicates this is the first time Georgia has delayed an execution because of weather.

Gissendaner was convicted of murder in the February 1997 slaying of her husband. Prosecutors said she plotted his death with her boyfriend, Gregory Owen. The boyfriend, who pleaded guilty and received a life prison sentence, testified at her trial. A jury convicted Gissendaner and sentenced her to death in 1998. The State Board of Pardons and Paroles held a clemency hearing on Tuesday for Gissendaner, but it announced yesterday that the clemency petition, which included statements from two of her three children asking the parole board to spare their mother's life, was denied. If the execution goes ahead, Gissendaner will be the first woman executed in Georgia in about 70 years. (More execution stories.)

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