The Latest: New hearing set for woman on Georgia's death row

AP News
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Posted: Sep 28, 2015 7:19 PM

ATLANTA (AP) — The latest on appeals by Kelly Renee Gissendaner, whose execution for murder is scheduled Tuesday in Georgia:

4:55 p.m.:

State officials have granted a new clemency hearing for the lone woman on Georgia's death row.

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles said in a news release Monday that it will hold the hearing Tuesday morning.

Kelly Renee Gissendaner is set for execution Tuesday at 7 p.m. She was convicted in the 1997 slaying of her husband, Douglas Gissendaner. Prosecutors say she persuaded her lover, Gregory Owen, to kill her husband.

Susan Casey, a lawyer for Gissendaner, said the board set the new hearing after Gissendaner's oldest son asked to speak to the board members. Her other two children had already asked the board to spare their mother's life at a hearing earlier this year.

The parole board is the only entity with the authority to commute a death sentence.

2:25 p.m.

A lawyer for the only woman on Georgia's death row says there's a risk of serious harm if his client's execution proceeds as planned because officials still can't explain a defect that turned up in the state's lethal injection drug in March.

Kelly Renee Gissendaner is set for execution by injection of pentobarbital at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the state prison in Jackson. She was previously scheduled to die March 2, but state officials called off the execution "out of an abundance of caution" after noticing that the execution drug was "cloudy."

Gerald King, a lawyer for Gissendaner, asked U.S. District Judge Thomas Thrash on Monday to temporarily halt her execution and reconsider his dismissal of a complaint Gissendaner filed in March. Thrash denied the request, saying Gissendaner was not likely to prevail in her arguments. He later issued an order denying her request to reconsider his dismissal of her case.

King said he plans to appeal to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

7 a.m.

One day before she's set to be executed, lawyers for the only woman on Georgia's death row will appear in court to argue that her life should be spared.

The hearing is set for Monday morning in a federal courtroom in Atlanta. Attorneys for 47-year-old Kelly Renee Gissendaner want Tuesday night's planned execution halted over concerns about lethal injection drugs the state plans to use.

If the execution happens, Gissendaner will be the first woman executed by the state in 70 years.

Gissendaner was convicted of murder in the February 1997 slaying of her husband, Douglas Gissendaner. Prosecutors said she conspired with her lover, Gregory Owen, who stabbed Douglas Gissendaner to death. Owen, who took a plea deal and testified against Gissendaner, is serving a prison sentence.