For four-and-a-half hours on Tuesday, Della Bacote said she talked with Gissendaner. She said they shared jokes, talked about the reality of the looming execution and were on edge every time the phone rang. They hoped it was news of clemency. But it never was. Bacote is a chaplain at Saint Thomas Health who also volunteers in Tennessee’s prisons. She met Gissendaner 13 years ago. Bacote was a theology student at Emory University in Atlanta. She asked to work in ministries in Georgia’s prisons, specifically working with pregnant women, inmates with mental health illnesses and one other person.