Teresa Lewis, called the mastermind in the murder-for-hire deaths of her husband and stepson, was executed at Greensville prison where she was given a lethal injection, prison spokesman Larry Traylor said.
Just outside the prison, a group of some 30 death penalty opponents rang a bell and prayed as Lewis went to her fatality. Lewis, who has an adult son and daughter, requested a last meal of two fried chicken breasts, sweet peas with butter, a slice of either German cake or apple pie and a Dr Pepper soda to drink.
In spite of having an IQ of about 70, Lewis was considered fit for trial in Virginia. She pleaded responsible to hiring two men in 2002 to murder her husband and stepson to pocket their life-insurance policy.
Lewis admits she left the door of the family trailer in rural Pittsylvania County open so the two young accomplices could enter and fire her husband and his 25-year-old son. All three pleaded at fault. The triggermen got life in jail but Lewis was sentenced to death, accused of being the mastermind of the killings.
Lewis is the first woman to be put to death in Virginia since Virginia Christian, a black 17-year-old who died in the electric chair in 1912. She is also the 12th woman executed in the United States since the death punishment was resumed in 1976.
Death penalty abolitionists have championed her case, insisting she has diminished mental faculties and that smarter accomplices took benefit of her.