For only the second time in history, the state of Georgia has executed a woman.
Kelly Gissendaner, 47, was executed by lethal injection early Wednesday morning at the state prison in Jackson. She was pronounced dead at 12:21 a.m. The United States and Georgia Supreme Courts denied last minute appeals to halt the execution.
Gissendaner was convicted of the 1997 murder of her husband Doug Gissendaner in Gwinnett County. One of the late appeals challenged her punishment as disproportionate and unconstitutional because she did not actually participate in the murder. She plotted it. Her boyfriend, Gregory Owen, committed the murder. He accepted a plea deal and will be eligible for parole in seven years.
Lena Baker is the only other woman put to death in Georgia. The Randolph County native was executed in 1945 for killing a white man. Decades later, the state pardoned her, ruling she acted in self-defense and was convicted in a sham trial because she was black.
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