U.S. Death Penalty: Stay of Execution for Woman to be Executed on Tuesday

 Steph Deschamps / January 12, 2021

A judge on Monday granted a stay of execution to an American woman who on Tuesday would become the first woman to be executed by federal authorities in 70 years.

 

In a federal penitentiary in Terre-Haute, Indiana, 52-year-old Lisa Montgomery was scheduled to receive a lethal injection Tuesday evening, 16 years after killing a pregnant woman in order to steal her fetus. But Judge James Hanlon of the Southern District of Indiana ordered Monday a stay of execution.

 

Lawyers for the convicted woman argued that Lisa Montgomery was not in a mental state compatible with her execution. She suffers from a mental disorder due to gang rape and childhood abuse.

 

The information presented to the court contains ample evidence that Ms. Montgomery's current mental state is so far removed from reality that she cannot rationally understand the government's motive for her execution, the judge wrote in his decision.

 

Hanlon J. indicated that the court would set a date for a subsequent hearing to assess Lisa Montgomery's mental state.

 

In 2004, unable to have a new child, Lisa Montgomery had spotted her victim, a dog breeder, on the internet and had come to her home in Missouri under the pretext of buying her a terrier. She then strangled her, opened her uterus and took the baby, who survived.

 

She was sentenced to death in 2007. If put to death, she would be the first woman to be executed by U.S. federal authorities since 1953. Her lawyers last week petitioned President Donald Trump for clemency, but he has so far failed to act on their request.

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