Monday 19 March 2018

No clemency for female killer on death row

Steve Szkotak in Richmond, Virginia

Virginia's governor has rejected a request to reconsider clemency for a woman convicted in two killings.

Only direct intervention from the US Supreme Court can now prevent the state's first execution of a woman in nearly a century.

Teresa Lewis (41) is scheduled to die by injection tomorrow for trading sex and money in the hired killings of her husband and stepson in October 2002 for a €188.6m insurance payout.

Attorney James E Rocap III appealed yesterday to Gov Bob McDonnell to reconsider his decision to deny clemency to Lewis.

Mr Rocap argued that one of the gunmen later claimed he manipulated Lewis, who is borderline mentally retarded, "to dupe her into believing he loved her so that he could achieve his own selfish goals".

Lewis pleaded guilty in May 2003 to two counts of capital murder for hire in the slayings of her husband Julian Lewis and her stepson, Charles Lewis.

The triggermen, Matthew Shallenberger and Rodney Fuller, were sentenced to life. Shallenberger committed suicide in prison in 2006.

The last execution of a woman in the US occurred in 2005 when Frances Newton died by injection in Texas.

Irish Independent

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