US set to execute mentally-ill woman PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 21 September 2010 17:17

Teresa Lewis who is diagnosed with borderline mental retardation is to be put to death by lethal injection in the US State of Virginia on September 23.
An American woman, diagnosed with borderline mental retardation, will soon become the first woman to have been executed in the US state of Virginia in almost 100 years.


Teresa Lewis was found guilty of plotting to kill her husband and her step-son in 2002 for life insurance money.

She will be executed by lethal injection on Thursday, September 23, becoming the first woman to be put to death in Virginia since 1912.

Earlier on Monday, lawyer of the 41-year-old grandmother James Rocap "begged" the governor of Virginia for clemency.

Rocap argued that his client's limited mental capability should be reason enough for the governor to spare her from execution and "commute her sentence from death to life in prison."

The lawyer also presented "new evidence" suggesting that Lewis had been manipulated by a dominant male co-defendant into planning the killings.

However, both the Virginia Supreme Court and a federal appeals court have ruled that Lewis, with an IQ hovering around 70, could function as a normal person in the society.

The state of Virginia is set to carry out the execution regardless of the US Constitution which prohibits the capital punishment of the mentally impaired.

Human rights groups have described Lewis's conviction as unsubstantiated.

Amnesty International, for its part, has called on US officials to commute the death sentence of Lewis.

The controversial case is not the first and will not be the last one in the US to draw fire over what has been described as "a mockery of justice."

FF/CS/MMN

 

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