Va. Inmate 1st Woman Executed in Five Years

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Teresa Lewis died by lethal injection Thursday night for masterminding the murders of her husband and stepson in 2002.

Lewis was the first woman to be executed in the U.S. in five years. The Commonwealth of Virginia has not executed a woman for a capital offense since 1912.

The 41-year-old grandmother had admitted to buying shotguns and hiring two men to carry out the killings in order to collect on a $250,000 insurance policy. Both men received life sentences for their part in the murders. One of the triggermen committed suicide in 2006.

Lewis' supporters and relatives of the victims watched her execution at Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt.

Her case drew attention because of her gender and claims by her attorney that she had low intelligence. She reportedly had a spiritual transformation in prison -- often comforting other inmates with her faith and Christian songs.

"She was very peaceful," before she entered the death chamber, said her attorney, James Rocap III.

"We thought that we were supposed to be helping her, while she was actually helping us," he said about the days leading to her death during which she laughed, sang and prayed - for everybody.

But Lewis admitted to another side of her life.

"I was doing drugs, stealing, lying and having several affairs during my marriages," Lewis wrote in a statement that was read at a prison religious service in August. "I went to church every Sunday, Friday and revivals but guess what? I didn't open my Bible at home, only when I was at church."

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