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Virginia executes Teresa Lewis for role in slayings of husband, stepson in 2002

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On the last night of life for the first woman to be executed in Virginia in nearly a century, those close to her remember Teresa Lewis for her faith and positive outlook.

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Clifton, who said she had forgiven Teresa Lewis, had never pushed for the death penalty. But she had said earlier that Lewis's death would bring "vindication."

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"I feel like once it's all said and done, I'll be able to shut the door on this chapter and move on with the future," Clifton said.

"I will know for a fact she will never be able to harm anyone again," Clifton said. "She claims to be a Christian, and I don't know how strong her faith is, but I have faith in my Lord. He says not to kill, but He also says to obey the law of the land. If she was truly a spiritual person, she would be happy to go along with any sentence."

Rocap said Lewis asked him to thank the people who fought to spare her life, saying: "It was just awesome."

"Tonight, the machinery of death in Virginia extinguished the beautiful and childlike human spirit of Teresa Lewis," Rocap said.

As she visited with family and lawyers over the past few days, Rocap said, Lewis prayed for her victims, for McDonnell and even the prosecutor.

"She laughed, she sang, she prayed," Rocap said. "I think, frankly, she had accepted what was going to happen a long time ago, and she was very peaceful."

In an interview last month at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for women, where Lewis was imprisoned for seven years because the state's death row accommodates only men, she said she prayed and read her Bible. She had nightmares about the murders and said she thought of Julian Lewis and C.J. Lewis each day.

"I wish I could give Kathy the world and take away her hurt," Lewis said then. "I can't even imagine the pain she's been through all these years."


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