The Execution of Kelly Gissendaner

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.
Kelly Gissendaner is gone. The state of Georgia executed her by lethal injection at 12:21 a.m. on Wednesday. In 1998, a jury sentenced Gissendaner to death for persuading her boyfriend to murder her husband. She is the first woman to be executed in Georgia since 1945.

The state board of pardons and parole denied her request for clemency for a second time on Tuesday afternoon. Three separate requests for a stay reached the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday night, delaying her execution for almost five hours while the justices deliberated. All three petitions were denied.

Gissendaner is the 21st person executed in the United States this year and the 1,415th person executed since the Supreme Court resurrected capital punishment in 1976. We’ll have more on this story in the morning.