Federal prisoner Lisa Montgomery’s life is at stake as attorneys file multiple appeals in multiple courts. Montgomery was scheduled to be executed at 6 p.m. Tuesday, but a series of swift appeals delayed her death.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit refused to stay his execution less than 24 hours after a federal judge in Indiana granted a stay of execution over concerns. about his deteriorating mental health.
Then on Tuesday afternoon, a judge with the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals granted another stay, calling into question Montgomery’s execution, scheduled for Tuesday night. Just after 7 p.m. Tuesday, his fate remained uncertain, pending further orders from the Supreme Court.
This latest development in legal exchanges between Montgomery’s attorneys and the Justice Department means that Montgomery could become the first woman to be executed by the federal government in nearly 70 years.
His attorneys have said Montgomery suffered severe physical and sexual abuse since childhood and suffers from a serious mental illness.
Death penalty: The United States has not executed a woman in 67 years. That could change soon.
In 2004, Montgomery drove from his farm in Melvern, Kansas, to the town of Skidmore, in northwest Missouri, under the guise of adopting a rat terrier puppy from Bobbie Jo Stinnett, a 23-year-old dog breeder. She strangled Stinnett with a rope before performing a rough C-section and fleeing with the baby.
Like the 10 federal executions in 2020 that preceded Montgomery’s scheduled death date, protesters against the death penalty made their presence known outside Terre Haute, Indiana, which is home to death row. federal.
With lawn chairs in tow in anticipation of a long night, members of the Terre Haute Death Penalty Resistance and other local protesters held up signs and pointed to cars passing from the parking lot of a Dollar General store across the street from the entrance. main prison.
Frustration over the federal government’s continuing pursuit of the death penalty, as well as the back-and-forth nature of Tuesday’s court proceedings, was palpable among protesters.
I think about Lisa all the time. I think about the fact that she was brought here and how terrified she must be because she doesn’t know what’s going on, ”said Karen Land of Indianapolis.
Land, holding a sign that read “STOP STATE KILLINGS,” said he became involved with Terre Haute Death Penalty Resistance after a friend of his who served as Orlando Hall’s spiritual advisor during his November 19 execution tested positive for coronavirus shortly after.
Karen Burkhart of Plainfield called the death penalty a “violation of the right to life” and said those who wish to see it abolished must be as aggressive as the federal government has been in their efforts to carry it out.
“It’s about the human rights we have, and no one should take that away from us,” he said. “It is a mistake for the government to kill citizens of their own country.”
This story will be updated.
Topeka Capital-Journal reporter Rafael Garcia contributed to this story.
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