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September 17, 2010

Virginia's Governor denies clemency for female condemned murderer

As detailed in this local article, headlined "Gov. McDonnell refuses to block execution of Teresa Lewis," the Governor of Virginia is not going to grant clemency to a high-profile defendant due to be executed next week. Here are the details:

Gov. Bob McDonnell denied a clemency petition today from Teresa Lewis, scheduled to be the first woman executed by Virginia in nearly a century. Unless the U.S. Supreme Court decides to review the case, Lewis will die by lethal injection at 9 p.m. Sept. 23.

A Pittsylvania County judge sentenced Lewis to death in 2003 for the murder-for-hire killings of her husband, Julian Clifton Lewis, and her stepson, Charles "C.J." Lewis....

Both of the hired killers were sentenced to life in prison — prompting Lewis’ lawyers to argue in a clemency petition that it would be unfair to put her to death. The petition also asserted that Lewis, who is borderline mentally retarded and suffers from a dependent personality disorder, lacked the mental acumen to plan a murder-for-hire.

"Having carefully reviewed the petition for clemency, the judicial opinions in this case, and other relevant materials, I find no compelling reason to set aside the sentence that was imposed by the Circuit Court and affirmed by all reviewing courts," McDonnell said today in a statement.

Governor McDonnell's full statement in support of his decision is available here.

September 17, 2010 at 09:18 PM | Permalink


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A real governor here, unlike that mealy-mouthed twit in Ohio or that fake bake corrupt slimeball governor in Florida.

Posted by: federalist | Sep 17, 2010 9:32:02 PM

The feminist lawyers failed to immunize this murderer. Feminism will be viewed as a hate filled, supremacist world view. The ways of the KKK were assumed correct by the majority of whites, 100 years ago, but now disgust us. That is the way the vile feminist supporter will be viewed 100 years hence. All the Ivy indoctrinated left wing fop phonies will be mocked and condemned.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Sep 17, 2010 10:18:31 PM

what a hack!

Posted by: anon | Sep 18, 2010 12:08:38 AM

I'll bet that lameduck whimp in Ohio would have granted clemency. Gov Breseden in TN recently caved in to the pressure and commuted Gail Owens death sentence. Florida Gov Crist does nothing at all with the issue. Since he has taken office in 2007, he has signed warrants for 6 men, 5 have been carried out, and 14 have died of natural causes in prison. According to sources, there are 25-30 inmates who are death warrant eligible. Now he bolts the GOP and wants us to put him in the US Senate as independent.

Posted by: DaveP | Sep 18, 2010 9:31:32 AM

"lameduck whimp"

And that right there shows the pathology of the pro-death penalty folks. Calling someone who is hesitant to impose uphold the death penalty or who does not believe in the death penalty a "wimp." A lack of assets elsewhere, if you know what I mean, leads to this kind of contrived machismo.

Posted by: Jack | Sep 18, 2010 10:08:58 AM

Just how many pander points DOES a grasping politician get these days for stepping aside so a retarded woman can be put to death?

C'mon, Jack. Put your man-pants on.

Posted by: John K | Sep 18, 2010 11:35:37 AM

Some might believe that the facts of the offense (two murders for the insurance proceeds) and the number of appellate reviews have more to do with the propriety of the death sentence here than remarks about the manliness vel non of commenters.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Sep 18, 2010 11:41:43 AM

The "pathology" of pro-death penalty folks? How about the pathology of a guy like Strickland. Anyone with half a brain and an ability to read knows that Kevin Keith is guilty as the original sin. Thus, his pathetic dissembling over the case shows his wussiness. It's fundamentally dishonest too. But what else does one expect from a Democrat?

What the abolitionist side fails to grasp is that the death penalty isn't just about the murderer. It's about the family too. Condemning victims' families to the limbo of delay after delay, and after countless appeals, is just cruel. But of course, you guys don't really care about that.

Posted by: federalist | Sep 18, 2010 11:48:56 AM

a new human sacrifice.

Posted by: claudio giusti, italia | Sep 18, 2010 12:36:48 PM

The Keith case showed how Strickland is out of touch with the issue. Going against a unanimous 8-0 parole board recommendation and his statement for clemency was absurd. I am sure if I was a governor, I would possibly have to do it sometimes, but this was not one of them. I would have rather seen Strickland grant clemency to Getsy last year than see Keith get away with it. The Parole Board voted 5-2 on that one. I would give my Board great deference if I was Governor.

Posted by: DaveP | Sep 18, 2010 2:12:39 PM

Masterminds are not mentally retarded, by definition. School was a waste of time for a mastermind, thus the poor performance on a paper and pencil test.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Sep 18, 2010 4:21:12 PM

claudio --

I concede that your layered analysis is refined for an abolitionist, but I wish you had been more specific there in Step 2.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Sep 18, 2010 5:33:43 PM

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