Georgia Postpones Woman’s Execution Over Drug Concerns


Georgia has postponed its first execution of a woman in 70 years because of concerns about the drug to be used in the lethal injection, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The pentobarbital was sent to an independent lab to check its potency and the test came back at an acceptable level, but during subsequent checks it appeared cloudy, said Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gwendolyn Hogan. Officials called the pharmacist and decided to postpone the execution “out of an abundance of caution,” she said.

Pentobarbital is the only drug used in Georgia executions. Kelly Renee Gissendaner was scheduled to be executed at 7 p.m. last night for the 1997 killing of her husband, Douglas. Courts had found Gissendaner had plotted the stabbing death of her husband by her boyfriend, Gregory Owen, who will be up for parole in eight years after accepting a life sentence and testifying against her. Gissendaner would have been the 16th woman put to death nationwide since the Supreme Court allowed the death penalty to resume in 1976. About 1,400 men have been executed since then.

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