September 21st, 2010
06:30 PM ET

Supreme Court rejects woman's death-row appeal

The  Supreme Court on Tuesday denied an appeal by Teresa Lewis to halt her execution in the state of Virginia. The execution is scheduled for Thursday night.

Lewis pleaded guilty to her role in the 2002 slayings of her husband and stepson in their rural home near Danville, about 145 miles from Richmond, Virginia. Two male co-conspirators - the triggermen - were given life in prison without parole.

Lewis and her lawyers had formally asked Gov. Bob McDonnell to spare her life, arguing she has an IQ that is borderline mentally retarded and that she was manipulated to commit the crimes by a dominant male co-defendant.

McDonnell on Friday rejected the request, and Lewis' lawyers appealed to the Supreme Court.


Filed under: Crime • Supreme Court • Virginia
soundoff (218 Responses)
  1. SiameseCats

    Very few are actually executed in the US. The death penalty is a useful tool to have on the table for plea negotiations. More than a few murderers cop a plea to avoid this. There is no evidence or mention that this person was "borderline mentally retarded" BEFORE she was arrested. It seems to have conveniently come up after the fact. What score would YOU get on an IQ test if you knew you needed to get a low score to live?

    September 21, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hey

      Didn't you know everyone in proson is either not guilty or retarded

      September 21, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. vthokie2010d

    The death penalty should be used more often and with fewer questions asked. Rapist, child molesters, pedophiles, and murderers all should receive capital punishment.

    September 21, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hey

      At least if you're in the position of being accused, you must have done something wrong

      September 21, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • bw

      I've got some great news for you. There are several countries to choose from that you're going to love. They'll do all that and more. Why don't you plan a vacation and then come back and tell us how great it was?

      September 21, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |

    <-PEOPLE NEED!!!! I'm against the death penalty unless someone has repeatedly escaped from max security prisons and killed people and their is not keeping them confined. Then we should kill the monster. departments that just throw people in prison for the rest of their lives and kill people should not be called departments of corrections. rather, they should be called departments of punishment

    September 21, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hey

      at least i agree that the term "department of corrections" is a joke

      September 21, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • seethemhere

      So, AFTER a criminal has commited the same crime (but the government has to be the guilty party) then it would be OK to kill someone who killed one of your children or grand children...or in this case, BOTH! Am I getting this right?

      September 21, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. seethemhere

    Ask the parents of the children who are dead now because a conficted felon was paroled, decided to do the same thing he/she was incarcerated for to begin with how they feel when a repeat offender, who was paroled because he/she was "rehabilitated" feels. Murder is the same thing. Her husband was someone's son and her stepson was someone's grandchild. And if you think about it, SHE was someone's daughter...maybe not the best family environment, but she did not have to plot against the children of someone else. She could have done the mean, nasty thing called divorce.

    September 21, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hey

      but attemped Fraud is so much easier, and gets you more money

      September 21, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. GLO

    Evidence showed that this low IQ woman was tricked into the plot by a con man after money, a man who got life in prison. She did a terrible thing, but she isn't more culpable than those who did the killing, and were of normal intelligence.

    September 21, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. BP

    Parol Board members are a joke

    September 21, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sal

    You anti death penalty people have your values all screwed up. Tell me something you freaks, if it was your son, your daughter, your mother, your father that was slaughtered by these vicious killers wouldn't you want them executed for taking your loved one away?? Use your damn head! Most normal people would want to tear the killer apart piece by piece for what they did. I know I would and so would all the supporters of the death penalty. The whole purpose of executing is the penalty you must pay for a heinous murder. Whether a deterrent or not doesn't matter to me.

    September 21, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Gadfly

    Teresa Lewis has IQ of 72. She is mentally handicapped. To kill anyone regardless of their crime is wrong. Worse is to kill someone who doesn't have full mental capacity and clearly doesn't know right or wrong. This is not far from Nazi eugenics program. You Americans must be very proud of yourself shunning other nations for human right abusive yet condoning similar actions within your borders. Bravo!!

    September 21, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Logical2010

      You're right. We should get her a tutor for the IQ test, get that score up, and then execute her.

      September 21, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Diane

      Gadfly...I am against capital punishment. But I don't believe that crap about her mental capacity. She graduated from a certified nursing assistant course. So she's smart enough to look after sick people in a medical setting, but not smart enough to know that having someone murder her family is wrong? Sorry...I don't believe it.

      September 23, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  9. Ryan


    September 21, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. scribe

    The death penalty is state sanctioned murder. End of discussion.

    September 21, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carlos Marin

      Catchy phrase but the word 'murder' means 'unlawful killing'. You may argue that executions are immoral but It has nothing to do with morality, just with the meaning of words in the English language. Executions performed by the state after a proper trial are 'lawful' by definition.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
  11. oldshoshone

    Women wanted equal rights... they now have the right to be executed.

    September 21, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. seethemhere

    I will forever feel in my heart that the man that stabbed my cousin because "he was sitting in the same booth as my wife" (my cousin's wife was also in the same booth, sitting beside Ricky) deserved to die. But instead, he got let off with 5 years and probation because he was proven bipolar. That is not a department of corrections...he did the same thing 4 years later to another man because he was standing next to this man's girlfriend in flipping Walmart! Now he is in for life...why does he get life when he has taken 2 lives??? How do you think this man's daughter feels about him? Proud? I gotta go...I think I'm getting out of hand. Have a great discussion. I will forever believe in the death penalty. I don't like knowing he is being fed and clothed by the very people who have to mourn the loss of a loved one because he was let go free.

    September 21, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Zep

    Been dazed and confused for so long it's not true,
    Wanted a woman, never bargained for you.
    Lots of people talk and few of them know,
    Soul of a woman was created below!


    September 21, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • jeff

      Amen to that

      September 21, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. seethemhere

    Oh, one more thing before I go...Canada...stay there!

    September 21, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • bw

      No kidding, if Canada leaves there will be all sorts of problems. Alaska would be an island for one and I don't think they have many boats. Please, Canada... stay there!

      September 21, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. drake49

    Just because you are against the death penalty doesnt mean you think these people should have the right to live. Pro death penalty people often make the mistake of thinking we are against it because we are some kind of peace loving hippie. I dont believe in the death penalty because in many cases it is the easy way out this lady should rot in prison for the rest of her life and wake up everyday behind bars where she has no freedom and will regret what she did everyday for the rest of her life. Life in prison isnt a joke and definatley not a luxury this lady should die the slow and agonizing death of the lock and key.

    September 21, 2010 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
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