Virginia was moving forward Thursday with its first execution of a woman in nearly a century amid appeals from the European Union and repercussions that reached as far away as Iran.
Teresa Lewis, 41, was scheduled to die by injection at 9 p.m. at Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt for the October 2002 hired killings of her husband and stepson. To procure the hit men, prosecutors said, she used sex, cash and a promised cut of the insurance benefits the killings would reap her.
The U.S. Supreme Court and Gov. Bob McDonnell declined to intervene. All her legal appeals have been exhausted, her attorney said.
In a state with the second busiest death chamber in the U.S., the Lewis execution has stirred an unusual amount of attention because of her gender, claims she lacked the intelligence to mastermind the killings and the post-conviction emergence of defense evidence that one of the triggermen manipulated her.
Lewis' supporters say she's a changed woman, and point to testimonials from former prison chaplains and inmates that Lewis comforted and inspired other inmates with her faith and the hymns and country gospel tunes she sang at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women.