Authorities said earlier this month that they had scheduled a third execution date for Gissendaner for Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Gissendaner was convicted of murdering her husband nearly two decades ago. She convinced her boyfriend, Gregory Owen, to kill Douglas Gissendaner, her husband, in February 1997, according to the office of Sam Olens, Georgia’s attorney general. The following year, Gissendaner was convicted and sentenced to death.
However, as her execution date approached earlier this year, theologians and religious leaders had asked the state to halt the execution, pointing to Gissendaner’s work completing a theology studies program while in prison.
Bishop Robert Wright of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, who has asked Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) to halt all executions in the state, signed a letter asking authorities to commute Gissendaner’s death sentence and change her punishment to life in prison without parole. The letter argued that Gissendaner has “experienced a profound spiritual transformation” during her time behind bars.
Earlier this year, as the initial scheduled lethal injection loomed, her attorneys had filed an emergency stay request with the state parole board, which denied her clemency bid.
However, the parole board said Monday it would give her case another look due to a new request from Gissendaner.
The parole board announced that it would meet on Tuesday at 11 a.m. to “receive and consider supplemental information” regarding Gissendaner. It also said that its members had already reviewed a request made last week asking the board to reconsider its earlier rejection.
In Georgia, the Board of Pardons and Paroles is the only entity in the state that can commute a death sentence or change it to life in prison or life without parole. The board said that after it meets on Tuesday morning, its members will decide whether to reject her request or grant a 90-day stay so that it can consider whether to convert her death sentence to a sentence of life in prison without parole.