The state of Georgia early Wednesday morning executed the only woman on death row in the state.
Kelly Renee Gissendaner, 47, was executed for her role in the Feb. 7, 1997, death of her husband, Douglas Gissendaner. Officials delayed the March execution at the 11th hour after the drug to be used appeared to be cloudy.
Gissendaner was convicted on Nov. 18, 1999, and sentenced to death the following day. Her lover, Gregory Owen, pleaded guilty and is serving a life sentence.
According to prosecutors, Gissendaner first brought up to Owen the idea of killing her husband in November 1996. Gissendaner and Owen discussed killing her husband four or five times before agreeing on Feb. 7, 1997, to the murder, prosecutors said.
Owen picked up Douglas Gissendaner at his home, drove him to a remote area of Gwinnett County, took his watch and wedding ring and stabbed him to death, investigators said. Gissendaner was out with friends during the slaying, prosecutors indicated.
“Kelly planned and executed Doug’s murder. She targeted him and his death was intentional. Kelly chose to have her day in court and after hearing the facts of this case, a jury of her peers sentenced her to death,” CNN quoted Douglas Gissendaner’s family as saying in a statement.
“As the murderer, she’s been given more rights and opportunity over the last 18 years than she ever afforded to Doug, who, again, is the victim here,” it said. “She had no mercy, gave him no rights, no choices, nor the opportunity to live his life. His life was not hers to take.”
Gissendaner is the 16th woman to be executed nationwide since 1976. She is the first woman to be executed in Georgia since 1945.