By Rosemary Pawloski
For the first time in 70 years, Georgia woman Kelly Renee Gissendaner is sentenced to execution for planning her husband’s murder. She became involved in another relationship and decided that divorce “would not be enough” to get away from him.
Her partner, Gregory Owen, murdered Gissendaner’s husband in a wooded area by their house, stabbing him ten times. Gissendaner then went to the scene to cover up evidence.
After weeks of investigation, Owen confessed and described Kelly Gissendaner’s involvement. Later in the investigation, Gissendaner tried to hire someone to lie about taking her to the scene and also asked her cellmate for help to find someone she could hire to lie for her. Her cellmate told authorities about Gissendaner’s plans.
Many were surprised of the conviction and Gissendaner’s placement on death row since she is the first woman in Georgia since 1945 to be executed. Only 15 women have been executed in the United States since 1977, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Appeals to her conviction claim that she has become spiritual in jail and that she has two children at home.
The original execution was scheduled for February 25th, but has been delayed twice due to inclement weather and cloudy lethal drugs. Gissendaner and her attorney have sued the state for postponing the execution and causing her much trauma and anxiety, which she sees as a violation of her constitutional rights.
As of now, the state has not set a new date for Kelly Gissendaner’s execution.