Virginia to Execute Woman-Teresa Lewis First Female to Receive Death Penalty in 98 Years-Mentally Challenged?

Filed in Gather News Channel by on September 12, 2010 0 Comments

Virgina will execute a woman this month unless she receives a stay.  If the courts or governor fail to intervene, Teresa Lewis will become the first female to be executed in 98 years.  The controversial debate of the death penalty will certainly spark outcries should Virginia execute the woman by lethal injection.  Lawyers say she is believed to be mentally challenged.

Capital punishment and the execution of Teresa Lewis

The woman Virginia will sentence to death is Teresa Lewis, 41, a homemaker, believed to be mentally challenged, who in 2002, retained the services of two hitmen to kill her husband and stepson.  According to report from ABC News, the condemned woman did this in order to collect cash benefits from a life insurance policy.  Police say that when they arrived, her husband, still alive, said, “My wife knows who did this to me”.  Moments later, he expired.  The 41-year-old grandmother plead guilty to the offense of murder. Virginia will execute the woman, Teresa Lewis, by lethal injection, but her attorney’s believe she is mentally challenged.

Capitol building and Supreme Court Building in Washington DC, USA

The state of Virginia will put the woman to death due to many egregious factors that paint the 41-year-old grandmother as a monster.  Ironically, the two-men-for-hire only received life in prison.  The presiding judge said that Teresa Lewis systematically planned the entire violent crime in a premeditated fashion.  He referred to her as “the head of the serpent”.  This weighed heavily on the commonwealth’s decision to execute the woman on death row.

The death penalty debate over Teresa Lewis’ execution

Her attorneys move that Teresa Lewis is mentally challenged and should be given life in prison or released to a mental institution.

Should Virginia carry out the death penalty for Teresa Lewis, it would mark the first time in approximately 98 years that a woman was condemned to die.  Teresa Lewis would also become the 12th woman in the country to be put to death since 1976 if Virginia proceeds with the execution of the woman.

Her lawyers are arguing that Virginia should not put the woman to death because she was diagnosed with a learning disability, is mentally challenged, and has a low intelligence test score. Further, they argue this would violate the 8th Amendment of the US Constitution which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.  However, Virgina disagrees with the request for clemency and desires to execute the condemned female by lethal injection.

The death penalty debate

Lewis is set to die at or about September 23 if Virginia carries out its original sentence of capital punishment on the female death-row inmate.  The debate on capital punishment is one that is as divisive as a lack of consensus of abortion laws.  Why or why shouldn’t Teresa Lewis be put to death?

Should the state of Virginia not execute a woman because she is “too dumb” to die, or who is believed to be mentally challenged, by lethal injection?  And, if the commonwealth does not put the woman to death, does this set a precedent in going forward on issues pertaining to capital punishment?

©2010 by Bruce Baker for Gather.com, All rights reserved

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Loves reading, writing, playing golf, basketball, visiting book conferences, drinking tea, especially green tea, interested in global affairs, health issues, peace on earth, and what makes people tick.

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