Gissendaner's execution on hold - CBS46 News

Gissendaner's execution on hold

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ATLANTA (CBS46/AP) - The execution of Georgia's only woman on death row was delayed Monday evening after corrections officials discovered problems with the drug used for the lethal injection. 

Kelly Gissendaner, 47, was scheduled to die at 7 p.m. at the Georgia State Diagnostic Prison in Jackson, but her execution didn't happen.

Georgia Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gwendolyn Hogan said that the drug, called pentobarbital, appeared cloudy. She said officials called a pharmacist, and then, out of an "abundance of caution" opted to postpone the execution. No new date was given.

Earlier, the Associated Press reported officials were also awaiting a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on her lawyers' request for a stay.

Click here to read the petition to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

CBS46 news anchor Scott Light was slated to be one of the witnesses to view the execution. He had arrived inside prison grounds and was in a room waiting to be transferred to another room where the execution was to have taken place.

"I was in a news black hole," he said. "It was me and two other witnesses."

Light said he was given one note pad and two No.2 pencils.

"That four hours in that room was very, very strange," Light added.  .

Outside the prison, Gissendaner supporters and death penalty opponents waited for word on what was happening.

"I don't think its right that a state just take a person's life," Melissa Roland told CBS46 News. "It's wrong. Kelly doesn't deserve to die."

Supporters formed a circle, sang and lit candles.

Earlier Monday, a spokesperson for the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles said the board was standing by its decision to deny Gissendaner clemency.

Gissendaner has been on death row since being sentenced for the 1997 murder of her husband Doug Gissendaner. At trial, prosecutors successfully showed that she recruited her then boyfriend Gregory Owen to kill her husband. Owen testified against Kelly Gissendaner as part of a plea deal that allowed him to avoid the death penalty.

During the 1998 trial, prosecutors said that Gissendaner, a mother of three from Auburn, wanted her husband dead so she could profit from his life insurance policies and the couple's $84,000 house. According to testimony, she dropped off Owen at her house the night of the murder. Owen forced Doug Gissendaner at knifepoint to drive to a remote area of eastern Gwinnett County, where Owen beat and stabbed him to death.

Several faith leaders delivered a letter to Gov. Nathan Deal Monday morning, asking that he halt the execution. The letter was signed by more than 400 Georgia faith leaders, organizers said. They also delivered boxes containing more than 41,000 signatures from people who want the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to commute Gissendaner's sentence to life in prison.

Copyright 2015 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this story.