January 13th local time, the federal government executed a female prisoner who was sentenced to death for murdering a pregnant woman and abducting a fetus in her abdomen in 2004. This is the first time that the U.S. federal government has executed a woman in prison since 1953.
According to the Associated Press on the 13th, Lisa Montgomery, a 52-year-old prisoner, was executed by injection in the complex of Treholt Federal Prison in Indiana, and was declared dead at 1:31 a.m. on the 13th.
Before execution, a female worker standing next to Montgomery bent over to gently remove Montgomery’s mask and asked her if she had any last words.
“No (NO),” Montgomery replied silently and in a low manner. Besides, she didn’t say anything.
Last November, the Trump administration resumed a 17-year suspension of federal executions, and Montgomery was the 11th death row inmate to be executed since.
“The government spared no effort to kill the woman who was injured and mentally ill.” The execution of Lisa Montgomery is far from fair.” Montgomery’s lawyer, Kelly Henry, said in a statement on the 13th.
Henry made a last fight shortly before his execution. Henry argued that Montgomery had a brain damage and suffered from a serious mental illness and could not be executed. The lawyer also said that Montgomery suffered physical and sexual abuse many times as a child.
Henry’s bid also led a federal judge in Indiana to announce a moratorium on the death penalty on the 11th of this month for a court hearing.
However, the New York Times said on the 13th that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed the decision on the 12th. The judge of the court also stressed, citing the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court, that a last-minute moratorium on executions is extremely rare and not the norm.
In 2004, a 23-year-old pregnant woman was brutally murdered in Skidmore, northwest Missouri.
At that time, 36-year-old Montgomery came to the pregnant woman’s house under the guise of buying a puppy.
Upon arrival, Montgomery strangled the pregnant woman in August with a rope, and cut the pregnant woman’s stomach with a knife to remove the baby girl in her abdomen.
Montgomery kidnapped the baby girl and tried to treat the girl as his own. The day after the crime, Montgomery was arrested on December 17, 2004.
The kidnapped girl survived luckyly. Last month, on the anniversary of her mother’s death, she turned 16.
Montgomery is the only female inmate on death row in federal prison.
Women account for a very low proportion of death row prisoners in federal prisons in the United States. The New York Times quoted an agency report that only 2% of federal death row prisoners are women. After Montgomery’s execution, there were no women on death row in the federal prison.
Montgomery was also the first female prisoner executed by the federal government of the United States since 1953.
According to reports, the execution in Montgomery was originally scheduled for last month.
But after two of her lawyers contracted the coronavirus, the judge postponed the trial and the U.S. Department of Justice rescheduled the execution.
Before Biden took office, Trump seemed eager to execute death row prisoners in federal prisons. The New York Times reported on November 18 last year that President-elect Biden had said that he would overturn the Trump administration’s decision to resume the federal execution.
But before Biden took office and the last weeks of Trump’s administration, the U.S. Department of Justice will execute two men and one woman.
This woman is Montgomery. CNN said on the 13th that the U.S. federal government plans to carry out two more executions this week, Corey Johnson on the 14th and Dustin Higgs on the 15th.
However, both executions have been suspended by federal court judges because the two men are still recovering from the novel coronavirus.