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US executes first woman in five years

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US executes first woman in five years


Teresa Lewis has become the first woman in five years to be executed in the United States.

After requesting a last meal of fried chicken, the 41-year-old with learning difficulties was killed by lethal injection in Virginia for her role in a double murder.

Witnesses at Greensville Correctional Center described her final moments.

“Once she was on the gurney, her feet were twiching pretty constantly troughout the process,” said journalist Catie Beck of CBS News. “I think when she walked in, her face sort of flinched a little bit and began sort of nervously looking around at everyone who was in the room, certainly an indicator that she was nervous and uncomfortable and perhaps scared.”

The state of Virginia had not put a female to death for nearly a century.

Lewis admitted hiring hitmen to kill her husband and stepson in 2002, so as to pocket their life insurance premiums. Her accomplices were jailed for life. One of them later committed suicide.

Calls for clemency for Lewis centred on her low IQ levels, with claims she couldn’t plan a murder and was manipulated. But for the US Supreme Court and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, the pleas fell on deaf ears.

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