An Indiana woman put on death row at age 16 for killing an elderly Bible school teacher is being released Monday.
Paula Cooper's death sentence at such a young age drew international protests and a plea for clemency from Pope John Paul II. Now at age 43, Cooper is set to be freed Monday. She was 15 on May 14, 1985, when she and two other teenage girls entered 78-year-old Ruth Pelke's home in Gary by telling her they were interested in Bible lessons. Once inside, Cooper stabbed Pelke 33 times before the girls ransacked the house. The Indiana Supreme Court set Cooper's death sentence aside in 1988 and ordered her to serve 60 years in prison after state legislators raised the minimum age limit for execution from 10 to 16.