Woman on Death Row Gets Last-Minute Hearing

Georgia will decide her fate 8 hours before execution time
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2015 3:17 AM CDT

The only woman on Georgia's death row will wake up Tuesday morning with no idea whether she will be alive at the end of the day. Kelly Renee Gissendaner, whose execution was delayed earlier this year first by snow and then by a "cloudy" drug, is scheduled to die at 7pm, but the state's Board of Pardons and Paroles has decided to hold a last-minute clemency hearing, reports Reuters. The board says it will look at "supplemental information" in the 11am hearing, which could result in the commutation of the death sentence to life in prison, a 90-day reprieve to further look into the case, or a decision to go ahead with the execution, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

On Monday, a federal judge declined to halt the execution of Gissendaner, who was convicted in 1997 of recruiting her lover to murder her husband, Reuters reports. She would be the first woman executed in Georgia since 1945. Two of her three children have released a video saying she has changed while in prison and they believe their father wouldn't have wanted her executed, CBS News reports. "My brothers and I have dealt with our anger toward our mother and her role in [our] dad's death in different ways, but we are united in our hope that she won't be executed," says Kayla Gissendaner, who was 7 when her father was murdered. "We've lost our dad. We can't imagine losing our mom, too." (More Georgia stories.)

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