Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Appealing for Kelly Gissendaner’s life

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.

Close to the time of the scheduled execution at 7 p.m., Sr. Helen Prejean sent out this tweet:

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