Georgia Execution of First Woman In 70 Years Is Postponed Due To Weather

ht_kelly_renee_gissendaner_death_row_float_jc_150219_16x9_992The execution of Kelly Renee Gissendaner, 46, had a rare interruption this week. The first female prisoner to be executed by the state of Georgia in 70 years was halted not by an order of the governor or the Supreme Court. It was delayed on account of “inclimate weather.” I have not seen such a “called for weather” delay in an execution, which is generally set by order or statute as occurring on a set day.

The Gissendaner case is an interesting example of the risks inherent in trial. The man who actually killed Gissendaner’s husband Douglas Gissendaner in 1997 was her lover. She was found to have conspired in the killing with Gregory Owen and she actually went to the scene soon after the killing to confirm his death. She then helped burn his car and later appeared on television begging for help in locating her husband. Her lover eventually confessed in interrogation and took a deal for life imprisonment. The same deal was offered to Gissendaner. However, her trial attorney (not without good reason and with her consent) believed that it was rare for a jury to sentence a women to death and that, since she did not actually do the killing, it was unlikely that she would be sentenced to death. The gamble proved wrong when she was sentenced to death. However, I think the calculated risk was not unreasonable. The trial attorney clearly believed that the chance of an acquittal (no matter how slim) was still worth attempting since under the plea agreement she would be looking at life regardless.

The 57 women on death row represent only 1.88 percent of the total population.

I cannot remember a prior execution suspended for weather as opposed to some mechanical problem. The Wednesday execution will be rescheduled for Monday, given Gissendaner an added weekend.

Gissendaner’s last meal has generated some attention. The final meal was quite detailed, including two Burger King Whoppers with fries, popcorn, cornbread, a salad with Paul Newman buttermilk dressing, lemonade, and cherry vanilla ice cream.

That last meal however is a virtual slim fast compared to Gary Carl Simmons Jr. in Mississippi who was executed in 2012 after ordering a Pizza Hut supreme deep dish pizza, a family size bag of Doritos, two large strawberry milkshakes, two cherry Cokes, a super-sized order of McDonald’s fries, and two pints of strawberry ice cream, along with sides of parmesan cheese, nacho cheese, ranch dressing, and a side of jalapeños. The meal weighed in at over 14,000 calories. One big difference is that women often order salads for their last meal.

56 thoughts on “Georgia Execution of First Woman In 70 Years Is Postponed Due To Weather”

  1. My favorite last meal request: about 15 years ago, a Thai-American sentenced to death in California ordered an orange for his last meal. An orange.

  2. I hope the continue to delay this execution because I enjoy happiepappies comments and would hate to see them stop.

  3. Her marriage to Douglas Gissendaner was rocky from the start.

    Between 1989 and 1996 they married, divorced, remarried, separated and reunited. Her three children, now grown up, were fathered by different men — one by Douglas.

    Gissendaner was in the U.S. Army for a while and even worked as a prison officer.

    They moved to Auburn, Georgia, in December 1996. But Douglas didn’t know that his wife had found a boyfriend — Gregory Owen — while they had been separated. She continued the affair and told Owen her husband would have to be killed because he would never leave them alone to be happy.

    There was also the matter of a sizable life insurance policy.

  4. Prosecutors said Gissendaner, a mother of three from Auburn, wanted her husband dead so she could profit from two $10,000 life insurance policies and the couple’s $84,000 house.

    She dropped off Owen at her Auburn house before going out with friends on Feb. 7, 1997. Owen surprised 30-year-old Doug Gissendaner and forced him at knifepoint to drive to a remote area in eastern Gwinnett near the Walton County line.

    Owen forced the victim to walk 100 yards into the woods and get down on his knees. He beat him in the head with a nightstick, stabbed him in the neck and back several times and left. The wife later helped her boyfriend set the car on fire to destroy evidence.

  5. One note of interest for Last Meals.
    There was a study awhile back that showed that people who profess innocence or are proven innocent at a later date, often will pass on last meals.
    Unquestionably guilty tend to order larger meals.

  6. Two comments is not obsessive, booger. I needed to cover more info in a follow-up. Chill, my man.

  7. Nick

    You claim this other person is being obsessive, but you’re the one that keeps repeating the same stuff over and over. We got it. Stuff was stolen from the scene and some family members managed to survive by not being present. Who is arguing with you? Not sure who the obsessive one is here.

  8. Perry Smith said he stole $43 from the Cutter family which comports w/ the $40-50 the Kansas Bureau of Investigation state was stolen, along w/ that radio. So “nothing” being stolen is just flat ass wrong.

    In 2009, the 50th anniversary of the Cutter murders, I read a piece on the 2 older Cutter girls who were not living home when the the family @ home were killed. I’m not sure if it’s flattering or creepy to have an attorney obsessively fact checking everything I write. He is really hoping for a “gotcha.” But, if coming up w/ “nothing” being stolen in the murders is indicative of his research ability, that ain’t gonna happen.

  9. If you folks in America cherise killing so much then why do you not have boots on the ground. This one chump at a time in some “execution” thing is a bit boring. I am here on Planet Earth to be entertained.

  10. Pogo

    Was that really a pic of Death Row Kelly? If so, what the heck is in that prison food? Kryptonite?

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