UPDATED March 4, 2015
Kelly Gissendar was scheduled Monday night for execution in Georgia. Gissendar’s execution was postponed for the second time because of concerns about the lethal drugs. The execution was postponed on February 25th, because of snow weather. The Department of Corrections for Georgia released a statement about the second postponement:
“Within the hours leading up to the scheduled execution, the Execution Team performed the necessary checks. At that time, the drugs appeared cloudy. The Department of Corrections immediately consulted with a pharmacist, and in an abundance of caution, Inmate Gissendaner’s execution has been postponed.”
The State Board of Pardons and Paroles stated Monday night that its denial of clemency for ms. Gissendar remains unchanged.
Ms. Gissendar, was convicted in 1998 of planning the murder of her husband, Doug Kissendar, with her boyfriend. According to the prosecutors, Gissendar, a mother of three, wanted the proceeds from two life insurance policies and their house.
The day of her husband’s death, Gissendar gave her boyfriend a knife and went dancing with her girlfriends. Gregory Owens, her boyfriend, took her husband into the woods and stabbed him to death. Both defendants were offered a plea bargain of a life sentence with a stipulation not to seek parole for 25 years. Owens agreed to the plea bargain and Gissendar rejected it. She was found guilty and was sentenced to death in 1998. Gissendar was scheduled for execution on February 25th, but the execution was postponed because of snow, to today.
A parole board denied her request for clemency last week. Gissendar’s attorneys had argued that Gissendar had become a model inmate and received a theology degree during her imprisonment. According to one correctional officer, she had helped other inmates. Approximately four hundred clergy have signed a letter supporting her request for clemency which stated:
“Her journey is vividly demonstrated in her support of other inmates and her witness to young people in prison-prevention programs,” they wrote. “On more than one occasion, Kelly has prevented another inmate from taking their own life.”
By: Bradley Schwartz
Founder of prisonpath.com