US to execute mentally disabled woman

US to execute mentally disabled woman

Virginia is slated to execute a borderline mentally disabled woman who pleaded guilty to masterminding the murder of her husband and stepson in 2002, Press TV reported.

Teresa Lewis was charged with hiring two men Matthew Shallenberger and Rodney Fuller to kill her husband and stepson so that she could collect USD 350,000 of life insurance.

Lewis offered herself and her 16-year-old daughter to the two hitmen and covered the payment for the purchase of the assault weapon used.

Judge Charles Strauss gave the two triggermen life sentences, but condemned 40-year-old Lewis to death. She has already lost one appeal and is set to be executed on September 23 as the first woman to be put to death in Virginia in almost a century.

New evidence, however, has raised doubts about the fairness of the verdict. Lewis took two IQ tests after the trial, both of which placed her in the "borderline intellectual functioning" zone.

Forensic psychology experts also testified that Lewis has "dependent personality disorder," and is unable to carry out functions as simple as making a grocery list by herself, the Huffington Post reported.

In 2003, Shallenberger wrote to a fellow inmate that he had manipulated Lewis so that he could use the money to start a drug business in New York City.

Shallenberger committed suicide in prison three years later and Lewis' defense team has not been able to use the letter as evidence.

Lewis' chaplain at the maximum-security prison in Virginia also describes her as "slow and overly eager to please -- an easy mark, in other words, for a con."

"She didn't look like a remorseless killer, a 'mastermind' who plotted two murders, as the judge put it," Lynn Litchfield writes in a recent Newsweek article.

"In one of our sessions, she collapsed into great soul-shattering, body-heaving sobs and cried into my wrist, the only part of me I could get through the slot in the door."

Lewis' pro bono defense lawyer said her behavior on death row has been exemplary and should be considered when her petition is reviewed for clemency.

"Since she went to prison, she has been not only a model prisoner, but she has a huge amount of remorse and has developed a prison ministry under very harsh conditions," James Rocap told the Huffington Post.

"This is one of the better examples of what is wrong with the death penalty," he added.

"Because of the death penalty in Virginia, we have a remarkable individual who did not have any violent record at all being judged on her participation in one event in one day of her life."

Rocap said he took on the case because he believes the US justice system is flawed when it comes to the death penalty.

"The legal system for the most serious sanction you can possibly have doesn't operate well," he added.

"There is so much serendipity in what happens to people who do the same thing or even worse things than other people. There's so much inconsistency in who gets executed and who doesn't. I think it's important for the legal profession that we provide the most legal representation we can for people who are in danger of losing their lives."

The United States is among the countries with the highest number of executions.

The US courts condemned 37 convicts to death in 2008 and 52 convicts in 2009, one of whom was executed by the electric chair in Virginia.

The largest mass execution in American history was in 1862 when 38 people, convicted of murder and rape during the Dakota War, were hanged.

International DOPPELMAYR to finish construction of Georgian ropeway
International DOPPELMAYR to finish construction of Georgian ropeway
Azerbaijan reveals number of vessels repaired at 'Bibiheybat' Shipyard in 2020
Azerbaijan reveals number of vessels repaired at 'Bibiheybat' Shipyard in 2020
CISCO increases number of services to be automated in Azerbaijan
CISCO increases number of services to be automated in Azerbaijan
Loading Bars
Latest
Prime Minister Modi Launches pan India rollout of COVID-19 vaccination drive
GM to invest C$1 billion in Canada plant to manufacture electric vans
Azerbaijan to start vaccination from COVID-19 - Operational Headquarters
Barbershops and beauty salons in Azerbaijan to start working soon
Kazakhstan sees decrease in exports to EAEU countries
Review of transactions in national currency at Turkmen exchange for Dec. 2020
Total amount of transactions on Turkmen Commodity Exchange for Dec. 2020
Iran's companies can offer technical services in Azerbaijan's Karabakh
Azerbaijan to resume activity of shopping centers, museums, barbershops
Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market
Uzbekistan reveals its COVID-19 data for January 16
Ban on entry-exit to some cities, regions of Azerbaijan remains in force
Azerbaijan makes wearing face masks mandatory both indoor, outdoor
Public catering facilities in Azerbaijan to resume activity soon
Aftershock rocks Indonesia quake zone as search continues
Kazakhstan's coal extracting venture to transformer substations via tender
Azerbaijan softens toughened quarantine regime
Turkmenistan, IBRD sign protocol of negotiations on COVID-19 response draft
Azerbaijan cancels SMS-permissions for leaving homes due to COVID-19
Iranian currency rates for January 16
Iran expects balance in foreign currency rates
Azerbaijan's import of grain from Russia's Stavropol for 2020 revealed
Mass inoculation of Russians against coronavirus to begin on January 18
Indonesia quake kills at least 42, injures hundreds
U.S. Health Secretary Azar condemns Capitol violence in resignation letter
UzAuto Motors doubles cars production volume in 2020
France's coronavirus death toll approaches 70,000
Over 600,000 have received Sinovac shots in Turkey's vaccination program
5.4-magnitude quake jolts southern Iran
Hotel occupancy increases in all Georgian regions
Trump directs government to minimize procurement from China
WhatsApp to delay launch of update business features after privacy backlash
Brazil reports more than 1,000 COVID deaths for fourth consecutive day
Number of COVID-2019 cases across globe up by over 709,000 in past day
UN chief calls for "far greater solidarity" in message on 2 millionth COVID-19 death
Money transfers to Georgia up in December 2020
WHO advises against proof of COVID-19 vaccination for int'l travel
BMW to recall 21,693 cars in Russia
We are having tea in pear-shaped glasses, baklava on Jidir Duzu. Let our friends rejoice, enemies get blind! - President Aliyev (PHOTO/VIDEO)
It is such unique feeling to see Shusha, to return to Shusha - President Aliyev
Commander-in-Chief came to Shusha for first time in 30 years and, frankly, does not want to leave - President Aliyev
Those who grew up over 17 years have liberated these lands - President Aliyev
Prepare report here, not in your cabinets - President Aliyev to international organizations
Global COVID-19 deaths surpass 2 mln
People of Azerbaijan will live in Shusha forever - President of Azerbaijan
All martyr families will be provided with apartments and houses by state - President Aliyev
In May 1992, Shusha was occupied as result of betrayal of PFPA-Musavat duo - President Aliyev
Today, I brought busts of our geniuses Khurshidbanu Natavan, Uzeyir Hajibayli and Bulbul to Shusha - President Aliyev
It is impossible to imagine Shusha without Jidir Duzu, and Azerbaijan without Shusha - President Aliyev
Mausoleum of Molla Panah Vagif was inaugurated exactly 39 years ago, I was standing right here - President Aliyev
After desecrating busts of our genius personalities, Armenians took them to Armenia to be melted down and sold - President Aliyev
Armenia must answer in international courts - Azerbaijani MFA
I said no, we will take these busts back only after liberating Shusha from enemy, put them in their original places - President Aliyev
Iran ready to establish joint automobile company in Iraq
Kyrgyzstan’s public debt reaches USD 4 bln 887.46 mln
Turkey reports over 8,000 new COVID-19 cases
UK records another 55,761 coronavirus cases, 1,280 deaths
Israel has vaccinated over 2 mln people against COVID-19
Britain tightens borders to keep out new COVID-19 strains
Kazakhstan's national operator for main oil pipelines reports decrease in oil transport
Int'l community must condemn Armenia's actions against Islamic religious monuments - Azerbaijani MP
Azerbaijani Economic Council holds first meeting in 2021
Shusha's residents proud of seeing Azerbaijani president in Shusha city
Group supporting Russian export to Azerbaijan renders assistance for foreign trade transactions in 2020
President of International Judo Federation congratulates Azerbaijani president
Azerbaijan increases total volume of exported gas in 2020
European Gymnastics to focus on competitions planned for 2021
Azerbaijan's foreign trade balance remains positive in 2020
Export operations between Azerbaijan and Australia greatly increase
Azerbaijan establishes National Agency for Mine Clearance of Territories of Azerbaijan
Int'l structures willing to cooperate for 'Green Energy Zone' in Azerbaijan's Karabakh (PHOTO)
Georgia reveals volume of electricity imported from Azerbaijan
Georgian Hualing Group implements new construction project
Georgia outstripping European preferences for innovations in some areas - MasterCard
Afghanistan always supports Azerbaijan in its just cause - Ambassador
Azerbaijani, Finnish FMs discuss latest situation in region
Whole world to see rapid economic recovery in Azerbaijan's liberated lands - Russian MP
Azerbaijani, Russian FMs exchange views on tasks of Jan. 11 joint statement
Georgian Enguri HPP rehabilitation project carried out with support of EBRD and EU
President of Georgia, NATO Secretary-General to meet in Brussels
How can leaders of Muslim countries be friends with country that destroyed mosques? - President Aliyev
President Aliyev presented Holy Quran to Saatli Mosque
In near future, we will ensure restoration of Shusha in planned manner - President of Azerbaijan
Despite all pressures, phone calls and threats, I said that we would go to end - President Aliyev
I have come to Shusha using the victory road - President Aliyev
Great return begins, all work has begun - President of Azerbaijan
Uzbekistan, Tajikistan resume regular flights
Azerbaijan sees growth trend in car insurance segment
Azerbaijan’s PASHA Bank ends 2020 with big profit
Wells Fargo profit beats Wall Street estimates as credit costs fall
Citigroup quarterly profit beats estimates as loan loss provisions slow
OSCE Chairperson-in-Office appoints Special Representative for South Caucasus
Parliament's plan on steel sector to damage Iran's exports - Steel Producers Association
Azerbaijan announces starting date for COVID-19 vaccination
Port of Baku starts cooperating with Belgium-based int'l training center
Azerbaijani ombudsman visits persons detained during anti-terror operations in liberated lands
Most of Uzbekistan’s population to be provided with COVID-19 vaccine
International DOPPELMAYR to finish construction of Georgian ropeway
Demand for marble products of plant in Turkmenistan’s Akhal region increased
Azerbaijan shows video footage from Gasimli village of Aghdam district (PHOTO/VIDEO)
All news