UPDATE, 2:45p ET: The parole board has denied Gissendaner's latest bid for clemency.


A Georgia woman is set to become the first female prisoner to be executed in the state in 70 years.

Kelly Gissendaner, a mother of three, was sentenced to death for ordering her boyfriend to murder her husband in 1997. 

Her husband, Douglas, was forced to drive to a remote wooded area, where he was stabbed to death.

Gissendaner was supposed to be executed earlier this year, but a severe winter storm delayed it to March. It was then pushed off again when there was a problem with the lethal injection drugs. 

Gissendaner's execution is now scheduled for 7pm ET tonight.

A parole board agreed to hear a new clemency request this morning, allowing the defense team to present more information. The board denied clemency in February.

Pope Francis, who called for the death penalty to be abolished on his visit to the U.S. last week, has sent a letter to the parole board asking them to spare Gissendaner's life. 

The defense argues it's unfair that the actual murderer, Gregory Owen, received a less severe punishment than Gissendaner, and will be eligible for parole in seven years.

Owen pleaded guilty in exchange for a life sentence with no parole eligibility for 25 years. 

They also argue that 17 years in prison have substantially changed Gissendaner, who graduated in 2011 from a prison theology program through Emory University. 

 

Her supporters - including her children - say Gissendaner has undergone a religious transformation and has talked other inmates out of suicide.

The board is set to hear a plea for the first time from Gissendaner's oldest son.

The board could elect to commute Gissendaner's sentence to life in prison or delay her execution once again while it considers the new testimony. 

A petition to stop the execution has garnered more than 90,000 signatures.

Meantime, the victim's family does not believe Gissendaner should receive clemency, according to NBC News:

"Kelly planned and executed Doug's murder. She targeted him and his death was intentional," Douglas Gissendaner's family said in a written statement.

"In the last 18 years, our mission has been to seek justice for Doug's murder and to keep his memory alive. We have faith in our legal system and do believe that Kelly has been afforded every right that our legal system affords.

"As the murderer, she's been given more rights and opportunity over the last 18 years than she ever afforded to Doug who, again, is the victim here. She had no mercy, gave him no rights, no choices, nor the opportunity to live his life. His life was not hers to take."

Watch the full report from Jonathan Serrie above on "America's Newsroom."

Stay tuned to Fox News for the latest on her last-minute bid for clemency.


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