VARNER, Ark. (AP) -- Prison officials prepared for the first execution of a woman in the state in more than 150 years, a nurse who killed her two children and initially blamed her action on depression over the Oklahoma City bombing.
Christina Marie Riggs, who had obtained court permission to drop all appeals, was flown early Sunday from the McPherson Unit, the state women's prison, to the Cummins Unit, where executions take place, Correction Department spokeswoman Dina Tyler said.
Riggs was to choose her last meal today in advance of her Tuesday execution, Tyler said.
Jim Harris, a spokesman for Gov. Mike Huckabee, said the governor planned to review Riggs' case. On Friday, Amnesty International USA asked Huckabee to grant Riggs executive clemency.
Riggs, 28, was convicted of capital murder for killing 5-year-old Justin and 2-year-old Shelby Alexis in 1997. Justin was injected with potassium chloride and morphine and eventually smothered; his sister was smothered.
Riggs, a former Oklahoma City resident, initially said trauma she experienced working as a nurse after the April 1995 bombing there drove her into a deep depression.
Her mother said in court documents that Riggs worked at the bomb site. The Veterans Administration hospital where Riggs worked disputed that but said records showed she was paid overtime for helping at another hospital that day.
The defense did not bring up the bombing during the trial itself. Her lawyer argued she suffered from depression and was innocent by reason of mental disease. But prosecutors said Riggs hated her son, left the children by themselves while she competed in karaoke contests and plotted their deaths for two or three weeks.
After she was found guilty, Riggs told jurors during the penalty phase: ''I want to die. I want to be with my babies. I want you to give me the death penalty.''
Riggs went to court in January, asking to drop her appeals. A circuit judge found her competent to do so, and the state Supreme Court upheld the finding.
Four other women have been executed nationwide -- most recently Betty Lou Beets, in Texas, in February -- since the U.S. Supreme Court in 1976 lifted a ban on executions.
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