Time Running Out for Woman on Georgia Death Row - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Time Running Out for Woman on Georgia Death Row

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NBC News - With execution just hours away, the only woman on Georgia's death row pressed ahead Monday with bids for a reprieve — including a long-shot request to have the parole board reconsider its rejection of clemency. If her appeals fail, Kelly Gissendaner will be put to death at 7 p.m. ET Monday for the 1997 murder of her husband — carried out by her lover, who got a life sentence.

A letter signed by 500 Georgia clergy members was delivered to Gov. Nathan Deal's office on Monday morning, although the governor cannot grant clemency. That power is held only by the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, which last week denied Gissendaner's initial request for clemency. Her lawyers have asked the board to hear from prison employees who could testify that the mother of three, who completed a theology program in prison, has reformed since the murder.

"This is an exceptional case requiring exceptional and immediate action," the lawyers said in a statement. "Kelly's case cries out for the mercy power vested in the Board." A parole spokesman said the board would consider the request.

The 11th U.S. Circuit of Appeals denied a request for a stay of execution on Monday, rejecting defense claims that Georgia's use of a non-FDA-approved drug for the lethal injection — obtained in secrecy — violates her constitutional rights. Gissendaner appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which has halted executions that use a different drug.
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