The execution of Kelly Gissendaner, the only woman on Georgia’s death row, was postponed again Monday night. In 1998, Gissendaner was convicted of conspiring with her lover to kill her husband. Her lover committed the actual murder and, agreeing to testify against Gissendaner, received a life sentence. Gissendaner received a death sentence for her part in the conspiracy.

During her years in prison, Gissendaner’s life has been transformed. She has attended and graduated from an in-prison seminary program. Other inmates say that she has become a spiritual counselor for them.

As Gissendaner’s appeals ran out, her case garnered the attention of many people in the Christian community. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, signed petitions calling for her sentence to be commuted. Clemency was denied a week or two ago and Gissendaner’s execution approached. Twice, she has come within hours of being executed, most recently on March 2 because the single drug that Georgia planned to use to execute her was “cloudy.”

This case raises questions about whether or not reform is possible for murderers, and therefore if executing them denies society the benefit of a reformed person.  It raises questions about executing someone who has changed and if we would still be executing the person who committed the crime.  It raises questions about the cruelty of our execution process, bringing someone so close to execution and then delaying it.  And finally, as it pointed out in this blog post, it raises questions about white privilege and Christian privilege.

You can read more about her case and the decision to postpone her execution at http://www.11alive.com/story/news/local/2015/03/02/kelly-gissendaner-execution/24255189/ and http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/lethal-injection/kelly-gissendaner-recorded-last-message-execution-was-postponed-n318751.

You can read more about the Christian Community’s efforts to get her sentence commuted at http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2015/march-web-only/let-kelly-gissendaner-live.html and http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/news/2015/mar/01/faith-leaders-friends-family-gather-for-vigil-in/,

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