While the state of Georgia executed a woman for the first time in 70 years on Wednesday, Texas has executed more women than any other state in the past three decades with a half dozen more awaiting their fate on death row right now.
Kelly Gissendaner was the only woman on Georgia’s death row when she was executed by lethal injection just after midnight. She was convicted in 1998 of convincing a boyfriend to murder her husband.
Meanwhile, Texas has executed the majority of the 15 female inmates in the United States since capital punishment was re-instated here in 1982. Karla Faye Tucker in 1998 was the first woman executed in Texas in 135 years.
Officials in Oklahoma and other states are scrambling to figure out a way to kill people. Concerned over a lack of access to lethal injection drugs, the Oklahoma legislature passed a bill in late April approving the use of the gas chamber for executions.
This comes on the heels of Utah’s move in March to bring back the firing squad as an alternative to lethal injection, an announcement that spurred another round of debate about executions. While the Denver Post editorial board wrote that the firing squad was “not a solution,” a Bloomberg editorial titled “Death by firing squad is more humane than lethal injection” circulated widely.
Editor’s Note: Attorney A.M. “Marty” Stroud III, of Shreveport, was the lead prosecutor in the December 1984 first-degree murder trial of Glenn Ford, who was sentenced to death for the Nov. 5, 1983 death of Shreveport jeweler Isadore Rozeman.
Ford was released from prison March 11, 2014, after the state admitted new evidence proving Ford was not the killer. Stroud is responding to an editorial in the March 6 edition of The Times that urged the state to now give Ford justice by not fighting compensation allowed for those wrongfully convicted.
George Stinney Jr became the youngest person to be executed in the US in the 20th century when he was sent to the electric chair in 1944, but more than 70 years after his death his conviction has been overturned.
Circuit Judge Carmen Mullen said the speed with which the state meted out justice against the boy was shocking and extremely unfair, and that his case was one of “great injustice” in her ruling exonerating Stinney Jr.
The 14-year-old black boy was sentenced to death for the murder of two white girls in a segregated mill town in South Carolina, in a trial that lasted less than three hours and reportedly bore no evidence and barely any witness testimonies.