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Georgia postpones execution of female death row inmate over drug concerns

Kelly Gissendaner is the only woman on death row in Georgia.

By Kate Stanton

JACKSON, Ga., March 3 (UPI) -- The planned execution of Georgia inmate Kelly Gissendaner was postponed Monday over concerns about the drugs for her lethal injection.

"Within the hours leading up to the scheduled execution, the execution team performed the necessary checks," the Georgia Department of Corrections said in a statement.

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"At that time, the drugs appeared cloudy. The Department of Corrections immediately consulted with a pharmacist, and in an abundance of caution, inmate Gissendaner's execution has been postponed."

Gissendaner's execution was scheduled for 7 p.m., but was officially postponed after 11 p.m.

Her legal team had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay her execution -- after the stay was denied by a lower court -- based on potential problems with lethal injection drugs.

Gissendaner's attorneys argued that the process used to obtain lethal injection drugs violated her constitutional rights.

The delay marks the second time that Gissendaner's execution has been postponed.

The Georgia Department of Corrections had pushed back her previously scheduled execution, on Feb. 25, due to inclement weather.

Gissendaner, 47, is on death row for plotting the 1997 murder of her husband, Douglas Gissendaner, with her former lover, Gregory Owen. Owen stabbed Douglas to death and was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

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