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High court rejects death-row appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to halt the scheduled execution of a Virginia woman who planned the murders of her husband and stepson, meaning that the state is nearly certain to execute its first woman in nearly a century.

Teresa Lewis, 41, admitted she plotted the 2002 killings of her husband, Julian Lewis, and his son, Charles "C.J." Lewis, to collect insurance money. Lewis is set to die by lethal injection Thursday night in Virginia's death chamber.

In a two-paragraph order, the high court said Lewis's application to stay the death sentence was denied. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor would have granted the stay, but did not offer an explanation.

Lewis gave her conspirators -- she was having an affair with one of them -- $1,200 to buy guns and left the door of her trailer unlocked so they could slip in at night, according to court records. After the shootings, she waited about half an hour to call 911, while her husband slowly bled to death.

Lewis's supporters have argued that she does not deserve to die because she is borderline mentally retarded and was manipulated by a smarter conspirator. It is unfair, they say, that she was sentenced to death while the two triggermen received life sentences.

-- Maria Glod

By Maria Glod  | September 21, 2010; 7:00 PM ET
Categories:  Maria Glod, Virginia  
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What part of no does this #$%$%%^%^ not understand?

Posted by: msdooby1 | September 21, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

"Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor would have granted the stay, but did not offer an explanation."

In other words, these two justices had no reason to stop the execution.

Posted by: ahashburn | September 22, 2010 3:01 AM | Report abuse

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