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Grandmother Awaits Execution In The US


Grandmother Awaits Execution In The US

32 mins ago

SkyNews (c) Sky News 2010

A Virginia woman is counting down her final hours before being put to death for plotting the murders of her husband and stepson.



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Teresa Lewis, 41, will be the first woman to be executed in southern Virginia in almost 100 years when she is given a lethal injection at 2am BST at the Greensville Correctional Centre.

A prison spokesman said Lewis had met her "spiritual advisor and immediate family".

The only hope for an 11th-hour reprieve rests with Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, after the US Supreme Court turned down her request for a stay of execution.

But McDonnell has twice said he would not intervene, and Lewis has requested a final meal of two breasts of fried chicken, sweet peas with butter, a slice of either German cake or apple pie, and a can of Dr Pepper to drink.

Lewis pleaded guilty to hiring two men to murder her husband and stepson at the family’s home in October 2002 so that she could collect £200,000 in life insurance.

But campaigners say she is "borderline mentally retarded" and that assessments of her IQ as being between 70 and 72 make the execution unconstitutional.

She met Rodney Fuller and Matthew Shallenberger in a supermarket and began an affair with Shallenberger, then aged 22.

She admits she left the door of the family trailer open in 2002 so the two could enter and shoot her husband and his 25-year-old son.

All three pleaded guilty but Shallenberger and Fuller were sentenced to life while Lewis received the death penalty as the mastermind of the killings.

But Lewis’ supporters say she has a personality disorder, was addicted to prescription drugs and was manipulated by the more intelligent Shallenberger.

And they further question why she should be executed when the two men who actually carried out the murder were handed life without parole.

Her lawyers point to a letter from Shallenberger, who killed himself in jail in 2006, in which he claims full responsibility for the murder plot and suggests he pushed Lewis into it.

Lawyer Jim Rocap said: "When one judges Teresa, you need to judge her based upon her entire life and not just what happened on the worst day of her life."

Lewis will become only the twelfth woman out of 1,200 people to be executed in the US since the death penalty was reintroduced in 1976.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said: "We oppose the death penalty in all cases but even supporters of capital punishment will be deeply troubled by the prospect of a woman like Teresa Lewis being executed.

"Does Virginia really want to be responsible for judicially killing a woman assessed as ‘borderline mentally retarded’?"

Officials have revealed Lewis’s choice of a final meal: fried chicken, sweet peas and Dr Pepper with a pudding of either German cake or apple pie.

On Tuesday, Lewis’s case made global headlines when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad contrasted the lack of protest over her impending execution to the "storm" surrounding a woman sentenced to be stoned in Iran.

Grandmother Awaits Execution In The US – Yahoo! News UK


September 23, 2010 - Posted by | Money, People, Politics, religion


  1. […] at 2am BST at the Greensville Correctional Centre. A prison spokesman said Lewis had met her …Continue Reading Written on September 24th, 2010 & filed under southern virginia Tags: greensville, southern […]

    Pingback by Grandmother Awaits Execution in the Us My Tiny Thoughts « Party | September 24, 2010

  2. Grandmother Awaits Execution In The US « My Tiny Thoughts…

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    Trackback by World Wide News Flash | September 23, 2010

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