Lewis was convicted of arranging the murder of her husband and stepson in a scheme to collect insurance money. Lewis’ lawyers had sought clemency for their client based on her low I.Q. While state medical professionals had determined that Lewis did have a low I.Q. she did not meet the criteria for being considered mentally retarded and was therefore eligible for the death penalty.
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell refused a last-minute stay of execution after the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday turned down Lewis’ final appeal.
The Virginia grandmother’s case sparked international attention and had become a symbol for activists who oppose the use of the death penalty.