US Executes Woman for Two MurdersWorld | September 24, 2010, Friday // 07:43| views
Teresa Lewis pleaded guilty in the 2002 slayings of her husband and stepson in their rural home. Photo by cnn.com
Teresa Lewis, called the mastermind in the murder-for-hire deaths of her husband and stepson, was executed Thursday night, CNN reported, citing Virginia Department of Corrections officials.
Lewis, who was given a lethal injection, was pronounced dead at 9:13 p.m. ET at Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt.
Death penalty opponents argued that Lewis, a 41-year-old grandmother, should not have died for a 2002 conspiracy that spared two triggermen a capital sentence. Instead they got life without parole.
Lewis was the first woman executed in Virginia in nearly a century.
The victims' family members witnessed the execution, state Department of Corrections spokesman Larry Traylor said.
News media witnesses said Lewis appeared frightened when she entered the death chamber and approached the gurney.
Asked if she had last words, Lewis said, "I just want Kathy to know I love her. And I am very sorry."
The inmate was referring to her stepdaughter, witness Kathy Clifton, daughter of murder victim Julian Lewis and sister of victim C.J. Lewis.
"She has no recriminations, she has no ill will for anybody," Lewis attorney Jim Rocap said. "I think frankly that she had accepted what was going to happen tonight a long time ago, and she was very peaceful with that."
The death row inmate pleaded guilty in the 2002 slayings of her husband and stepson in their rural home near Danville, Virginia, about 145 miles from Richmond.
Lewis, whom the state argued is evil, was the first woman executed in the United States in five years.
She requested a last meal of two fried chicken breasts, sweet peas with butter, German cake (first choice), apple pie (second choice) and a Dr Pepper soft drink, officials said.
Rocap also released a statement late Thursday.
"Tonight, the machinery of death in Virginia extinguished the beautiful, childlike and loving human spirit of Teresa Lewis ..." Rocap said. "Teresa asked that I send her thanks and love to all of those who have supported her in this fight for her life. In her words, 'It's just awesome.' It is our hope that Teresa's death will cause a re-examination of the badly broken system of justice that could allow something as wrong and unjust as this to happen."
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