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US winter storm delays woman’s execution

/ 07:27 AM February 26, 2015
HFM LATE PM FEB 23** FILE -In this Tuesday, July 6, 2004 file photo, Kelly Gissendaner, the only woman on Georgia's death row, peers through the slot in her cell door as a guard brings her a cup of ice at Metro State Prison in Atlanta. Gissendaner, 46, is scheduled to be executed Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015, at the state prison in Jackson. She was convicted of murder in the 1997 slaying of her husband, Douglas Gissendaner. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bita Honarvar)

In this July 6, 2004 file photo, Kelly Gissendaner, the only woman on Georgia’s death row, peers through the slot in her cell door as a guard brings her a cup of ice at Metro State Prison in Atlanta. Gissendaner, 46, was scheduled to be executed Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015, at the state prison in Jackson. She was convicted of murder in the 1997 slaying of her husband, Douglas Gissendaner. AP

ATLANTA, United States — The state of Georgia on Wednesday delayed the execution of its only female death row inmate, ahead of a winter storm forecast to hit many areas with heavy snow.

Kelly Renee Gissendaner, 46, had been scheduled for execution at 7 p.m. The execution has been reset for Monday, according to a Department of Corrections statement.

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The execution was rescheduled because of winter weather and associated scheduling issues, department spokeswoman Gwendolyn Hogan wrote in an email. A winter storm was is forecast to hit parts of Georgia on Wednesday afternoon, closing schools and offices and prompting warnings about roads.

A review of department records indicates this is the first time Georgia has delayed an execution because of weather, Hogan wrote.

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Gissendaner was convicted of murder in the February 1997 slaying of her husband. Prosecutors said she plotted his death with her boyfriend, Gregory Owen.

Owen, who pleaded guilty and received a life prison sentence, testified at Gissendaner’s trial. A jury convicted Gissendaner and sentenced her to death in 1998.

The State Board of Pardons and Paroles held a clemency hearing Tuesday for Gissendaner but announced Wednesday that her request for clemency was denied. The parole board is the only entity in Georgia with the authority to commute a death sentence.

Gissendaner would be the first woman executed in Georgia in about 70 years.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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TAGS: Capital Punishment, Death penalty, Death Row, Georgia, US weather, Weather, winter snow, Winter Storm
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