Children urge state to reconsider execution of mother they once hated

Woman's children hope state will reconsider


ATLANTA -- The attorneys for a woman who is set to be put to death in mere days have released a video that shows two people that once despised her asking that she be allowed to live – her children.

The video shows an interview with a brother and sister who recount their anger and frustration with Kelly Gissendaner after the death of their father – Douglas Morgan Gissendaner.

She was sentenced to death in 1998 after being convicted of recruiting her boyfriend to kill her husband.

But one day, they said they went to visit her in prison. 

"It was hard for both of us but she told me the terrible truth," daughter Kayla said in a statement online. "As painful as that was, I realized then that I wanted to try to have a relationship with her again."

That's when they said they realized a major difference in the woman in front of them.

"My mom has changed so much over the past 18 years," Kayla said. "We have such a wonderful relationship, and for the first time, I'm truly getting to know her."

Now they are fighting to keep her from heading back to the execution chamber.

Gissendaner is the same woman who, earlier this year, survived her own execution. The execution was called off at the very last minute when experts deemed the execution drug "cloudy".

It's actually the second time her execution has been in some way delayed. A winter storm in February was the first.

The Board of Pardons and Paroles, the only entity authorized to commute a death sentence has denied clemency to Gissendaner.  But her family still holds out hope.

"My brothers and I have dealt with our anger toward our mother and her role in dad's death in different ways," Kayla said. "But we are united in our hope that she won't be executed. We've lost our dad. We can't imagine losing our mom, too."

Gissendaner is scheduled for execution on or before Oct. 6.


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