Update: Wednesday, September 30, 2015  12:38 am EDT

 

Kelly Gissendander was executed by the state of Georgia at 12:21 am EDT.  Read her full story here.

 

Update: Tuesday, September 29, 2015  11:16 pm EDT

 

The Supreme Court of the United States has rejected Kelly Gissendaner's most recent appeal in an attempt to stop her execution.  With no more appeals pending, the execution should proceed.

 

Update: Tuesday, September 29, 2015  10:47 pm EDT

 

Kelly Gissendaner has another appeal pending before the Supreme Court of the United States. 

 

Update: Tuesday, September 29, 2015  10:05 pm EDT

 

The Supreme Court of the United States has rejected Kelly Gissendaner's most recent appeal in an attempt to stop her execution.  With no more appeals pending, the execution should proceed.

 

Update: Tuesday, September 29, 2015  9:32 pm EDT

 

The Georgia Supreme Court has denied a stay of execution for Kelly Gissendaner, however, Kelly has another appeal before the Supreme Court of the United States.

 

Update: Tuesday, September 29, 2015  8:37 pm EDT

 

The Supreme Court of the United States has denied a stay of execution for Kelly Gissendaner.  The Georgia Supreme Court has not yet ruled.

 

Update: Tuesday, September 29, 2015  7:37 pm EDT

 

The execution of Kelly Gissendaner has been delayed from starting due to ongoing, various appeals to the Georgia Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of the United States.

 

Update: Tuesday, September 29, 2015  3:13 pm EDT

 

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has rejected a request from Kelly Gissendaner to stay her execution.  Kelly argued that she deserved to spared from execution because the man who actually committed the murder was given a lesser sentence.  Pope Francis, who recently visited the United States of America, has also written in support of Kelly being granted clemency.

 

Update: Monday, September 28, 2015  12:42 pm EDT

 

Federal Judge Thomas Thrash, Jr. of the Northern District of Georgia, has rejected a request fro a stay of execution by Kelly Gissendaner.  Judge Thrash has also denied an emergency request fora restringing order against the state.  Kelly and her attorney are planning to appeal Judge Thrash's decision to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

 

Update: Monday, September 28, 2015  6:44 am EDT

 

Kelly Renee Gissendaner's execution is scheduled to occur between Tuesday, September 29, 2015, and Tuesday, October 6, 2015, at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, Georgia.  Georgia’s executions are scheduled for a one week period and the execution can take place at any time during that period.  Traditionally, the execution occurs at 7 pm EDT, on the first day on the execution warrant.  Forty-seven-year-old Kelly has been sentenced to death for arranging the murder of her husband, 30-year-old Doug Gissendaner on February 7, 1997, in Gwinnet County, Georgia.  Kelly has spent the last 16 years on Georgia's death row.

 

This is the third execution warrant for Kelly this year.  Kelly was first scheduled to be executed on February 25, 2015.  That execution was rescheduled for March 2, 2015, due to a snowstorm.  Hours after her execution was scheduled to begin, the execution was postponed due to concerns over the execution drugs.  In the hours before her execution on March 2, 2015, the drugs were tested for potency.  The test fell within the acceptable levels.  Hours later, the drugs began to take on a cloudy appearance, leading to new concerns over the drugs.  After contacting the pharmacist, the decision was made to postpone the execution in an abundance of caution.

 

Kelly is the mother of three children, who were ages 5, 8, and 12, at the time of the murder.  She was previously a member of the United States Army.  Kelly alleges she was physically and sexually abused as a child.

 

Kelly and Doug met in the 1980s.  They first married in 1989.  Over the course of the next eight years, Kelly and Doug had a tumultuous relationship.  After being married in September of 1989, they separated in December of 1991, reunited briefly in October of 1992, divorced in March of 1993, reunited in February of 1995, remarried in May of 1995, separated in May of 1996, and reunited in December 1996.  By February of 1997, though, their relationship was once again on the rocks.  Kelly was involved with another man, Gregory Bruce Owen, whom she first met in September of 1995.  Kelly told a coworker that she was unhappy with her husband and in love with Gregory.

 

Kelly's relationship with Gregory was equally tumultuous, as they dated and broke up at least once.  Kelly first brought up killing her husband in November of 1996.  Kelly told Gregory that she could not simply divorce Doug because he would not leave her alone if she divorced him.  Over they next four months, they spoke of killing her husband several times, before agreeing on a plan.  On the evening of February 7, 1997,  Kelly dropped Gregory off at her home and drove to a friend’s house, where she insisted that they go out that night to a nightclub. 

 

Doug arrived home shortly after 10 pm.  Owen confronted him, holding a knife, which Kelly had given him, to Doug’s throat.  Owen forced Doug to drive to a remote location, walk into the woods, and kneel on the ground.  Owen killed Doug by striking him with a nightstick, also given to him by Kelly, and stabbing him in the back and neck several times.  Owen also stole Doug’s watch and wedding ring.

 

After arriving home from her night out, Kelly met up with Owen and the couple burned Doug’s vehicle.  Kelly also asked Owen if her husband was dead and inspected the body.

 

It was nearly two weeks before Doug’s body was discovered.  When police questioned Kelly, she concealed her relationship with Owen and insisted she had not contacted him for some time.  Owen eventually confessed and agreed to testify against Kelly in exchange for a life sentence, sparing him from the death penalty.

 

At her trial, Kelly claimed innocence, saying she did not team up with Owen to kill her husband, arguing that she could have divorced him if she wanted out of the relationship.  The jury found her guilty and sentenced her to death on November 20, 1998.

 

If executed, Kelly would be only the second women executed by the state of Georgia.  Georgia last executed a woman, Lena Baker, in 1945.

 

Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Doug.  Please pray for strength for the family of Kelly.  Please pray that if Kelly was not involved in the murder, or lacks the competency to be executed, evidence will be brought forward before her execution.  Please pray that Kelly may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if she has not already found one.

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