Teresa Lewis is scheduled for execution in a Virginia state prison on September 23, 2010. If the execution occurs, the 41 year old grandmother would be the 12th woman executed since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, and the first woman put to death in Virginia since 1912, almost a century ago.
Teresa Lewis: Virginia To Execute Woman For First Time In 98 Years? (Photo)
Teresa Lewis plead guilty to hiring two men to kill her husband and stepson in Pittsylvania County, Virginia in 2002. She admitted to purchasing a $250,000 life insurance policy and offering her then 16 year old daughter for sex, along with part of the insurance money—-to the two men if they would kill her husband Julian Lewis. Julian Lewis’s son, Charles J. Lewis, 25, was due to come home on leave from the National Guard and Teresa wanted him dead, too. Speculation was she didn’t want to share the life insurance with him.
Julian Lewis remained alive for awhile after the shooting. Teresa Lewis waited 45 minutes before calling 911 and went through her husband’s pockets and wallet for money—-as he lay in agony, helpless and dying. Julian was able to tell deputies “My wife knows who done this do me” before taking his last breath.
The ‘hit-men’, one of whom was Teresa’s lover were Rodney Fuller and Matthew Shallenberger. The two triggermen both received life sentences. In 2006, Matthew Shallenberger committed suicide.
Teresa Lewis’ daughter, Christie Lynn Bean, knew about her mothers plans and remained silent. For that, she served a five year sentence.
Teresa Lewis had attempted to take her husbands life at least one time before finally succeeding. Advocates for sparing her life are out in full force. They point out her IQ is between 70 and 73. Apparently an IQ below 70 makes one ineligible for the death penalty. They point out Teresa’s IQ is ‘close enough’ for the courts to reconsider. In other words, she’s not smart enough to be executed.
Teresa Lewis was smart enough, however, to concoct not one, but two plots to murder her husband. She was smart enough to ascertain that sex and money can convince many a man to do anything, including murder. She’s smart enough to claim her husband was abusive, and she had a drug problem—all mitigating factors, according to her would be saviors.
She is also smart enough to have found the Lord in prison and behave herself while going though the appeal process. Oh–and she is truly sorry, remorseful even.
Virginia’s attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, argues the death sentence is justified because of “the brutal nature of the crimes themselves as well as Lewis’ callous, manipulating, adulterous, greedy, egregious behavior.”
Let’s not forget she watched her husband die a slow death without offering aid, and was willing to allow two adult men to have sex with her young teen daughter.
Now it’s up to Gov. Bob McDonnell or the U.S. Supreme Court to decide if men and women should truly be treated equal. Were Teresa Lewis a man, this case would likely not even be in the news—-but oh gosh, not only is she a woman, she’s now a grandmother, too! That’s supposed to negate her actions? I think not.
The last woman put to death in the United States was Frances Newton, on September 14, 2005 in Texas. She murdered her husband and two children for insurance money and died by lethal injection.
The last woman put to death in Virginia was Virginia Christian, 17, in 1912. She suffocated her employer to death and went to the electric chair.
Teresa Lewis has spent the last seven years in an isolated, 6′ by 8′ cell at a Fluvanna County correctional facility and has amassed quite a few supporters. The liberal bleeding hearts believe she has a life worth living. Her execution date is September 23, 2010.
I think that her husband and stepson’s friends and family probably think their lives were worth living, too.
If women are truly equal to men, then we should receive the same penalties and punishment for our actions that men do. We can’t pick and choose our ‘equality.’
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