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Va. woman to die by lethal injection

The Virginia Department of Corrections says the only woman on the state's death row has declined to choose the method of her scheduled Sept. 23 execution.

That means lethal injection will be the procedure when 40-year-old Teresa Lewis of Pittsylvania County is put to death for plotting to have her husband and stepson killed in 2002 so she could collect a $250,000 life insurance policy.

State law allows a condemned inmate to select either electrocution or lethal injection. The latter procedure is used if the inmate declines to choose.

Lewis would be the first woman executed in Virginia in nearly 100 years and the first in the U.S. since 2005.

-- Associated Press

By Washington Post Editors  |  September 8, 2010; 12:50 PM ET
Categories:  Death Penalty , Virginia  
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WaPo's estranged sister publication Newsweek ran a My Turn piece about Teresa Lewis last week. The piece was written by the former chaplain at the prison where Ms Lewis is held. If what the chaplain had to say is true, and I have no reason to believe otherwise, then Ms Lewis' sentence is unjust and should be commuted. Ms Lewis herself killed no one, and her mental capacities are in question. I hope other people will go to Newsweek dot com and look for the My Turn piece to read and decide for themselves.

Posted by: jody43jody | September 9, 2010 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Teresa Lewis did mastermind the murders of her husband and stepson in 2002. Regardless of her not pulling the trigger, she was most certainly a first hand participant and orchestrator of the motivation for the crime. Her counsel is attempting to lay the blame on co-conspirator Shallenberger, who received a life sentence and committed suicide while incarcerated.

This doesn't mitigate the actions of Lewis, who conceived the possibility of large windfall from being the beneficiary on both victims' life insurance policy, who contracted both gunmen and engaged in a tryst with them while plotting the crime, who let the killers into the home the night of the murder and drank an iced tea while her husband and stepson were murdered in their beds. She also delayed calling 9-1-1 as her husband lay bleeding to death, but did go through searching his wallet for money.

Teresa isn't retarded. She wrote a fairly well worded testimony of her faith, which is published on the web. She also likely was coached to flub questions on her IQ test to help lower her score. She isn't the brightest bulb, but she does understand and acknowledge her crime as well as that death is her punishment for that crime. She isn't lying in a puddle of her own waste, babbling incoherently at Fluvanna either, she is constantly participating fully in interaction at prison church services.

The Governor should and will follow the lead of our courts and refuse to intervene in this case.

Posted by: vuac | September 9, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I don't need to read a Newsweek article that will attempt to tug at my heart and fog my mind. The dead say nothing.

A mob boss who orders the killing of someone is just as guilty as the trigger pullers.

What makes this even more heinous is she ordered the death of her husband and son. Nothing is more despicable for a mother/wife to do. The horror that husband must have felt seeing his son dead and wife over him not helping as he died.

There is nothing redeeming for this woman to be on earth, God can welcome her with open arms if she is truly sorry and only God would know. For those who do not believe in god it's not fair.

As far as I am concerned she is evil, should be destroyed. The cost of 2 million is well worth it.

Posted by: khornbeak | September 15, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

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