Stop the Execution of Kelly Gissendaner
This petition had 4,442 supporters
Dear Chairman Terry Barnard, The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, and Governor Deal,
Kelly Gissendaner is a prime example of the possibility of rehabilitation and redemption. She admits to her part in instigating the murder of her husband in 1997. The man who actually committed the murder received life in prison and not the death penalty. There is no question that this crime was committed, nor that it was a tragic and heinous crime. Ms. Gissendaner has confessed and expressed her deep remorse for her actions.
In addition, she has completed the Candler School of Theology certification program, and the evidence of her rehabilitation is clear in her behavior over the years of her incarceration. Would it not be much better for society if Kelly were put to work helping others in some capacity, rather than being killed by the state? If a life in prison (in the general population) were to be her fate - then have her be a positive influence among other prisoners, supporting them toward rehabilitation and good behavior. This would be helpful to the prison as well as the prisoners - and thus beneficial to the greater society beyond the prisons walls.
To kill Kelly Gissendaner would be to say to our society that rehabilitation doesn't matter -- even when it is so clearly evidenced. What hope is there in that for our nation? For surely in this instance her execution would not be about making our state or country safer. It would be, then, purely about retribution. And that leaves nothing positive in its wake.
Mr. Barnard, you and the Board of Pardons and Paroles have a fantastic opportunity here to put Georgia in a positive spotlight in the nation -- to be leaders in acknowledging and supporting our society to benefit from rehabilitation and restorative justice. The other option is to have Georgia corrections in the unwanted spotlight of executing a woman who has turned her life around in the last 17 years of her incarceration. A woman who has the support and backing of many people of faith.
Please, do what is best for us all in this situation - grant clemency for Kelly Gissendaner.
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