The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has reported that Kelly Gissendaner was executed by lethal injection at 12:21 a.m., despite pleas from her children, clergy, protesters and Pope Francis, after the Georgia Board of Paroles and Pardons and the U.S. Supreme Court both denied clemency.
From The Atlantic:
Doug Gissendaner’s parents and siblings support her death sentence, but his children asked the parole board not to execute their mother for her role in their father’s murder.
“My dad would not want my mom to be executed, even knowing her role in his murder,” her daughter Kayla Gissendaner said, according to CNN. “He would not want us to endure another devastating loss.”
The statement from her husband’s family, as quoted in the New York Times:
“She had no mercy, gave him no rights, no choices, nor the opportunity to live his life,” Mr. Gissendaner’s family said in a statement released by the district attorney’s office in Gwinnett County, where the murder took place. “His life was not hers to take.”
The Washington Post reports that six executions, including Gissendaner’s, have been scheduled to take place over the next nine days in five states:
These inmates have filed petition after petition over the years, come within hours of possibly being executed, had their cases argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, and — so far — they still remain among the small number of those sentenced to death who could see the inside of an execution chamber this year. (There are about 3,000 people on death row, while an average of 41 inmates are executed each year.)
If all of the executions are carried out as scheduled, it will mark the most active period of capital punishment in the United States since June 2013. Over a two-week span that month, Texas, Florida and Oklahoma combined to execute five inmates.
From the BBC: “Witnesses to the execution told a local Fox News affiliate she was singing Amazing Grace before she was given a lethal injection.”
Image from Huffington Post.