On Wednesday, the United States carried out the first federal execution of a woman in nearly seven decades, the US Department of Justice announced.
“Lisa Montgomery” (52 years) was executed in the US Terry Hot Prison in accordance with the ruling unanimously recommended by a federal jury and imposed by the US District Court for the Western District of Missouri in 2007,” the ministry said in a statement.
The US Supreme Court paved the way for Montgomery’s execution despite doubts about her mental health after President Donald’s administration pushed for the implementation of the sentence.
Montgomery’s defense team did not deny the seriousness of her crime. But her lawyer, Kelly Henry, described the decision, the first against a woman imprisoned since 1953, as “a brutal, illegal and unnecessary exercise of authoritarian power.” “Everyone who took part in the execution of Lisa Montgomery should be ashamed,” Henry added.
In 2004, Montgomery, who was unable to conceive, spotted her dog-dog victim on the Internet, came to her home in Missouri under the pretext of buying a puppy, suffocated the pregnant woman, then slit her stomach and took the surviving baby. She was sentenced to death in 2007.
In their quest to spare her the death penalty, Lisa Montgomery’s lawyers recalled the sexual assaults she suffered in her youth and the head injuries she suffered. Last week they sent a request for a pardon to President Donald Trump, but he has not responded to their request.
On Monday, a judge decided to postpone the execution of Montgomery’s death sentence.
“The information submitted to the court includes several pieces of evidence that Ms. Montgomery’s current mental state is so disconnected from reality that she is not logically aware of the government’s motive for her execution,” the judge’s ruling said.
But the appeals court overturned that decision on Tuesday, leaving the matter to the US Supreme Court, which said the execution could be carried out.
Despite the decline in the death penalty in the United States and around the world, in July the Trump administration resumed federal executions after a 17-year hiatus.
Ten Americans have received lethal injections in Terre-Haute since summer and the Trump administration, along with Ms. Montgomery, are planning to execute two black men this week: Corey Johnson on Thursday and Dustin Higgs on Friday.
Democratic Senator Dick Durbin denounced this on NPR, saying, “In the final hours of Trump’s presidency, there was a crazy rush to execute people on death row years or even decades ago. It’s insane.”
With the Democrats regaining control of the Senate, there is the possibility of a law aimed at ending federal executions once Joe Biden takes office.