Donna Moonda

Donna Moonda

Donna J. Moonda will not be executed for hiring her lover to kill her husband.

The seven-woman, five-man jury that convicted Mrs. Moonda, 48, in the death of Dr. Gulam H. Moonda, 69, said the appropriate punishment for the Hermitage woman is life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Mrs. Moonda was convicted of murder for hire, interstate stalking and two gun charges. The murder-for-hire charge gave the jury only two options: execution or life in prison.

Proscutors had asked that Mrs. Moonda be put to death as the "primary offender" in the case, while the defense said life in prison was a severe enough punishment.

Mrs. Moonda's lover, Damian R. Bradford, 26, of Beaver County, who admitted shooting Dr. Moonda on May 13, 2005, along the Ohio Turnpike in Cuyahoga County, has been sentenced to 17 1/2 years in prison.

Dr. Ravi Sachdeva, a friend and co-executor of Dr. Moonda’s estate, said he was satisfied with jury’s decision.

“Life in prison without parole is a pretty severe sentence for what she committed,” he said. He said that some members of Dr. Moonda’s family in India had hoped for a death sentence, while others thought a life sentence was sufficient.

“I think it brings some closure to his family in India. I think he found some peace,” Sachdeva said.

History indicates that Mrs. Moonda would get a life sentence. According to data posted at, there are only 568 documented instances of female executions in the 374 years spanning from 1632-2005. The site states that female executions have become increasingly rare, as only .6% of all executions in the United States between 1900 and 2005 were females.

Women account for only 1 in 50 death sentences imposed at the trial level, and account for only 1 in 70 currently on death row. According to the site, Frances Newton was the last female to be executed, on Sept. 14, 2005 in Texas.

Mrs. Moonda will be formally sentenced Sept. 17.

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