RICHMOND — The US Supreme Court refused yesterday to block the execution of a woman convicted of two hired killings, clearing the way for the state’s first capital punishment of a woman in nearly a century.
Teresa Lewis, 41, is scheduled to die by injection tomorrow for providing sex and money to two men to kill her husband and stepson in October 2002 so she could collect on a quarter-million dollar insurance policy.
Two of the three women on the court, Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, voted to stop the execution. The court did not otherwise comment on its order.
The court’s decision followed Governor Bob McDonnell’s refusal to reconsider a clemency request, which he rejected Friday.
“A good and decent person is about to lose her life because of a system that is broken,’’ said attorney James E. Rocap III, who represents Lewis.
He said he was referring to the decision by the Supreme Court and McDonnell’s rejection of clemency.
Rocap appealed Monday to McDonnell to reconsider his decision to deny clemency to Lewis, saying that new evidence should spare Lewis the death penalty.
Rocap asserted that one of the gunmen later claimed he manipulated Lewis, who is borderline mentally disabled, “to dupe her into believing he loved her so that he could achieve his own selfish goals.’’
Lewis pleaded guilty in May 2003 to two counts of capital murder for hire in the slayings of her husband, Julian, and her stepson, Charles.
The triggermen, Matthew Shallenberger and Rodney Fuller, were sentenced to life terms.
Shallenberger, whom Rocap named as the mastermind, committed suicide in prison in 2006.