Georgia Denies Kelly Gissendaner Clemency Despite Pope’s Pleas

George Lavender

Georgia’s board of pardons and paroles has denied clemency to Kelly Gissendaner, despite pleas to spare her life delivered by her children and Pope Francis.

Gissendaner is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection at 7pm for her part in the 1997 murder of her husband. The board met today to hear from her eldest son Brandon, but upheld its decision to deny clemency.

The intervention from the Pope comes a week after he told a joint session of Congress he opposed the death penalty since every life is sacred.” The letter, written on the Pope’s behalf by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano read:

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 expressed to your board, to commute the sentence to one that would better express both justice and mercy,”

Gissendaner’s previous execution date was postponed in March after the drugs to be used in the lethal injection appeared cloudy.” She is one of three death row inmates in three different states scheduled to die this week. 

Help In These Times Celebrate & Have Your Gift Matched!

In These Times is proud to share that we were recently awarded the 16th Annual Izzy Award from the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College. The Izzy Award goes to an independent outlet, journalist or producer for contributions to culture, politics or journalism created outside traditional corporate structures.

Fellow 2024 Izzy awardees include Trina Reynolds-Tyler and Sarah Conway for their joint investigative series “Missing In Chicago," and journalists Mohammed El-Kurd and Lynzy Billing. The Izzy judges also gave special recognition to Democracy Now! for coverage that documented the destruction wreaked in Gaza and raised Palestinian voices to public awareness.

In These Times is proud to stand alongside our fellow awardees in accepting the 2024 Izzy Award. To help us continue producing award-winning journalism a generous donor has pledged to match any donation, dollar-for-dollar, up to $20,000.

Will you help In These Times celebrate and have your gift matched today? Make a tax-deductible contribution to support independent media.

George Lavender is an award-winning radio and print journalist based in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter @GeorgeLavender.
The War on Protest Cover
Get 10 issues for $19.95

Subscribe to the print magazine.