Handout . / Reuters
A judge granted the suspension of what would be the first execution by the United States government of a female inmate in more than 67 years. This was reported by the Associated Press, quoting the local newspaper Topeka Capital-Journal.
The lethal injection was scheduled for today at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana, just eight days before the inauguration of Joe Biden, an opponent of the federal death penalty. But Judge Patrick Hanlon of the United States District Court (Southern Indiana District) decided to stay the execution, indicating the need for a probative hearing to determine the woman’s mental condition.
Lisa Montgomery, who the defense has always claimed unable to understand and want because of the terrible abuse she suffered as a child, killed 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett in December 2004, cutting the fetus from her womb and trying to pass the baby as his own.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reports a passage from Judge Hanlon’s decision: “Ms. Montgomery has been diagnosed with physical brain impairments and multiple mental illnesses, and three experts are of the opinion that, based on the conduct and symptoms reported to them by the lawyer, the perception of the reality of the Montgomery is currently distorted and compromised ”.
Montgomery’s attorney Kelley Henry praised the judge’s decision, as her legal team for years argued that the woman’s background – filled with abuse, traumatic experiences and mental disorders – made her “unsuitable for execution under the of the Eighth Amendment ”, as well as having a role in the 2004 murder.