Woman sentenced to death in the USA – level 3
Georgia has executed the only woman on the state’s death row despite a last minute appeal attempt by the Pope. It’s the first time in 70 years the state has carried out a death sentence on a woman.
“At 12:21 on September 30th 2015, the court ordered execution of Kelly Renee Gissendaner, and it was carried out in accordance with state law.”
Kelly Gissendaner died by injection at a prison in Jackson.
Pope Francis, who was recently on a US tour, urged the review board to reconsider, but it announced it was not granting clemency.
Witnesses say the 47-year-old sang “Amazing Grace” before apologising to the victim’s family and expressing her regret. She’d been sentenced to death for her role in plotting her husband’s murder in 1997. Her former lover, Gregory Owen, who killed Douglas Gissendaner, was given life in prison as part of a plea bargain.
Gissendaner was the 16th woman executed in the United States since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976.
Difficult words: execute (to carry out the sentence of death), appeal (a serious request), attempt (to try), urge (to suggest strongly that someone does something), announce (to say something officially), clemency (less serious punishment for a crime), plot (to plan), former (-ex), plea bargain (when someone admits to one crime, in exchange for not being charged with a more serious crime), reinstate (to make a rule exist again).
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