Published September 29, 2015
On Tuesday, Sept. 29, the Atlanta of Archdiocese hosted a news conference to draw attention to a letter written by the pope’s representative to the United States to the Georgia Parole Board.
Archbishop Carlo M. Vigano wrote, on behalf of Pope Francis, asking the board to commute the death sentence for Kelly Gissendaner to life in prison. Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory had written his own letter.
“While not wishing to minimize the gravity of the crime for which Ms. Gissendaner has been convicted, and while sympathizing with the victims, I nonetheless implore you, in consideration of the reasons that have been presented to your Board, to commute the sentence to one that would better express both justice and mercy,” wrote Archbishop Vigano.
Gissendaner was convicted in 1998 of recruiting her boyfriend to kill her husband, Doug Gissendaner. Her boyfriend, Gregory Owen, accepted a plea deal to testify for the prosecution against her. Owen received a life sentence. Gissendander was sentenced to receive the death penalty.
Tuesday afternoon board denied the request hours before the scheduled execution.
You can read the letter here.
Letters have been sent asking to spare the life of Kelly Gissendaner. Check them out on our website: http://t.co/t5LrzUvOYc
— Atlanta Archdiocese (@archatl) September 29, 2015
Close to the time of the scheduled execution at 7 p.m., Sr. Helen Prejean sent out this tweet:
Please join in thoughts and prayers for Kelly Gissendaner this hour as she is unjustly executed by the State of Georgia. #kellyonmymind
— Sister Helen Prejean (@helenprejean) September 29, 2015