Despite Pope Francis’ best efforts, he couldn’t persuade a Georgia parole board to grant clemency for Kelly Gissendaner, a death row inmate due to be executed Tuesday evening.

ABC News detailed the pope’s attempt in a report posted Tuesday about Gissendaner’s case:

Kelly Gissendaner, who was convicted of orchestrating her husband’s murder almost 20 years ago, is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 7 p.m. tonight at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Parolees said today.

“After carefully considering the request for reconsideration, and meeting with Gissendaner’s representatives again today, the Board has voted to let the decision of February 25, 2015, denying clemency stand,” the board said in a statement. “Gissendaner was convicted of murder in 1998 for the February 1997 death of her husband, Douglas Gissendaner, and sentenced to death.”

The board had met in Atlanta earlier Tuesday to review Gissendaner’s case. The pope’s letter, which was signed by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, declared that “every life is sacred,” called for an emphasis on rehabilitation instead of execution and requested that those deciding Gissendaner’s fate settle on a sentence that “would better express both justice and mercy.”

–Posted by Kasia Anderson

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