US government to execute first woman since 1953

Elias Hubbard
October 18, 2020

The US Justice Department on Friday announced that Lisa Montgomery will receive a lethal injection at the Federal Correctional Complex in IN on 8 December, the first federal execution of a woman in nearly 70 years. Upon arrival, Montgomery strangled Stinnett until she fell unconscious and used a kitchen knife to cut out her baby.

Lisa Montgomery is expected to receive lethal injection on December 8, the Justice Department says.

She would be the ninth federal inmate put to death since the Justice Department resumed executions in July after a almost 20-year hiatus.

Her lawyers also argued that she was suffering from pseudocyesis, which causes a woman to falsely believe she is pregnant and exhibit outward signs of pregnancy.

A jury rejected the defense's argument that Montgomery was suffering from delusions at the time, found her guilty and recommended a death sentence.

Her attorney, Kelley Henry, said that Montgomery deserved to live because she is mentally ill and suffered childhood abuse.

The ninth execution will be Brandon Bernard, who was convicted of killing two youth ministers on a military reservation in Texas in 1999.

This came after the White House announced previous year that the Bureau of Prisons was switching to a new single-drug protocol for lethal injections, from a three-drug combination that the bureau last used in March 2003 on a former soldier convicted of rape and murder. "But her severe mental illness and the devastating impacts of her childhood trauma make executing her a profound injustice", Henry claimed. Both the victims were shot in the head and placed in the trunk of their vehicle, which then was set on fire.

Both Montgomery and Bernard are held at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.

The Trump administration ended an informal 17-year-hiatus in federal executions in July, after announcing last year that the Bureau of Prisons was switching to a new single-drug protocol for lethal injections, from a three-drug combination it last used in 2003. According to anti-death penalty groups, President Donald Trump is pushing for more executions to brandish his reputation as a law-and-order leader.

Since then, six others have been put to death and another man, Orlando Hall, is scheduled to be executed next month.

"This evidence confirms that Mr. Bernard is simply not one of the "worst of the worst" offenders for whom we reserve the death penalty, and that sparing his life would pose no risk to anyone", Owen said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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