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Gov. Denies Clemency to Black Widow

Virginia Governor McDonnell has denied clemency to Teresa Lewis, one of the few women on death row.  As is often the case with the very few women who commit capital murder (as distinguished from lesser degrees of homicide), Lewis is a "black widow" who had her husband killed for the insurance money.  One unusual variant is that Lewis also had her stepson killed.  As noted in the previous post, John Grisham conveniently overlooks the body count in claiming that other similar cases did not result in death sentences.

The Governor's statement is here at the GoDanRiver site (curiously not on the Governor's own site). WaPo story here; Richmond Times-Dispatch story here.

Also at GoDanRiver.com is this story by Steve Doane with quotes from people who were involved in the case or knew Lewis personally (or both). They refute the notion that Lewis is so mentally impaired as to be incapable of masterminding this plot.

As for people who knew Teresa Lewis before the crime, several declined to comment because of the pain and deep sense of betrayal Lewis caused.

"She was raising her hand and praising the Lord even after he (Julian) was dead," said Debbie Yeatts. "I thought she was my friend, but she used and deceived us all."

Yeatts is described in court documents as Lewis' best friend, but wished to be identified only as an "acquaintance."

This is a case where regular folks who knew the person and observed her in daily life are much better judges of her capacity than psychologists with their artificial tests.

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