Georgia's sole female death row inmate set to be executed

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 02, 2015 8:37 AM

ATLANTA (Reuters) - The only woman on death row in Georgia is scheduled to be executed on Monday for her husband's 1997 murder, barring last-minute legal action.

Kelly Renee Gissendaner, 46, would be the first woman executed by the state in 70 years.

Prosecutors said she plotted with her boyfriend, Gregory Owen, to kill her husband, Douglas Gissendaner, who was stabbed to death in a desolate area in suburban Atlanta after being abducted from his home.

Owen confessed to carrying out the Feb. 7, 1997 murder and implicated Kelly Gissendaner. He is serving a life sentence.

Gissendaner's execution by injection was reset for Monday night at a prison in Jackson, Georgia, after a winter storm prompted state officials to postpone it last week.

Georgia's pardons board refused last week to commute her sentence to life in prison without parole.

The state last executed a woman on March 5, 1945. Lena Baker died in the electric chair but was granted a pardon in 2005 after officials said she should have been given clemency for killing her abusive employer in self defense.

(Reporting by David Beasley; Writing by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Bill Trott)