Tennessee governor commutes death sentence of woman who hired man to kill her husband

By Erik Schelzig, AP
Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tenn. governor commutes death sentence of woman

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen has commuted the death sentence of a woman convicted of hiring a man to kill her husband.

The governor’s move Wednesday changes Gaile Owens’ sentence to life in prison. She could be eligible for parole in 2012.

The 57-year-old was scheduled to be executed in September. It has been nearly 200 years since Tennessee executed a woman. One other woman is on death row, but she is still appealing.

Owens was convicted in 1986 of hiring a man to kill her husband, Ron. He was beaten to death with a tire iron at the suburban Memphis home where they lived with their two sons.

Bredesen said he commuted the sentence because she once had a plea deal to avoid the death penalty that fell through when her co-defendant refused to plead guilty.


Jim Britt
July 14, 2010: 7:27 pm

Why do governors have the right to overturn juries?
What’s the point of wasting time on a trial; just let the “King Governor” rule on all crimes!

This woman should have been executed in 1989; why did I spend tax dollars feeding her for all these years?

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