Georgia Executions on Hold Due to Cloudy Lethal Injection Drugs


Currently, executions in Georgia are on hold due to the lethal injection drugs looking “cloudy.” Sources state that the woman who was to be executed, Kelly Renee Gissendaner was suppose to be put to death at 7 p.m. eastern, on Monday. This is now the second time that Gissendaner’s execution has been postponed, the first being during a winter storm in Georgia. With so much debate going on over the execution of Gissendaner, the first woman to be put to death in Georgia since 70 years ago, all eyes are on Georgia, as everyone wonders if this means Gissendaner will not be executed.

Thousands of people have been in support of Kelly Renee Gissendaner, as she fought against the system for the right to live. Twice the Supreme Court has denied her request for clemency. Lawyers have fought against the disproportion of the case. Priests have testified to her change in behavior, as she has now become closer to God and supposedly become a great “pastoral presence” for inmates. Gissendaner’s children have also pleaded for her life. Though, regardless of Kelly’s fight against the system and support from thousands, Georgia had still planned to execute her.

Gissendaner was convicted of orchestrating the murder of her husband in 1997. She and her partner in crime (and supposed partner in other things, relationship wise), Gregory Owen murdered Douglas Gissendaner. Gregory performed the actual murder and received a plea agreement with prosecutors which gave him years in prison, with the possibility of parole beginning in the year 2023. But the former Mrs. Gissendaner was sentenced to death for plotting the murder of her husband. This was the disproportion of the case. In addition, defendants found the execution unfair, as the execution of a woman in Georgia had not been done since 1945.

Gissendaner was originally suppose to be put to death last Wednesday, until the execution was moved to Monday, due to a winter storm in Georgia. The execution, which was suppose to be done at 7 p.m. ET was put on hold because the Supreme Court was considering Gissendaner’s appeal. Now executions in Georgia have been put on hold, due to the fact that when the executioners examined the lethal injection drugs, pentobarbital, they found it to be “cloudy.” The fear of having another botched execution (much like the one in Oklahoma not too long ago) forced the state of Georgia to postpone the execution.

Though testing of the drug, at a lab before the execution, had produced good results, Georgia was too afraid to use the drug for fear that it had gone bad. Due to the recent bad publicity of lethal injection executions, another botched execution would only push things over the edge. Many stays of execution have been granted to prisoners nationwide. This is also due to the fact that the lethal injection drug has been hard for states to obtain. Information on the supplier of the bad pentobarbital has not been released, because of state laws that allow that information to be kept a secret. Georgia has also not released information about when the drug was expected to expire.

In addition to the postponing of Gissendaner’s execution, the “cloudy” drugs also forced the state of Georgia to postpone the execution of Brian Keith Terrell, a man who was sentenced to death for the murder of John Henry Watson, in 1992. Terrell was set to be put to death on March 10, 2015. But until investigators can figure out the reason for the cloudy lethal injection drugs, and until a different set of drugs can be received, executions in Georgia are being postponed.

By Crystal Boulware


CNN News
NY Times

Photo Source:

Josh Rushing Creativecommons Flickr License

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