Execution of the only woman on federal death row may continue, court rules – We Are Here MX

Lisa Montgomery, who strangled a pregnant woman and cut off her baby’s womb, will be executed by lethal injection on January 12.

A United States appeals court has cleared the way for the only woman on federal death row to be executed before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

The ruling, delivered Friday by a three-judge panel at the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, found that a lower court judge was wrong when he overturned Lisa Montgomery’s execution date. in an order last week .

US District Court Judge Randolph Moss had ruled that the Justice Department illegally rescheduled Montgomery’s execution and struck down an order from the director of the Bureau of Prisons scheduling his death for January 12.

Montgomery was scheduled to be executed by lethal injection at the federal correctional complex in Terre Haute, Indiana, in December, but Moss delayed the execution after his lawyers contracted coronavirus when visiting his client and asked him to extend the time to file a clemency. petition.

Moss concluded that, per his order, the Bureau of Prisons couldn’t even reschedule Montgomery’s execution until at least January 1. But the appeals panel disagreed.

Meaghan VerGow, a Montgomery attorney, said her legal team would ask the full appeals court to review the case and said Montgomery should not be executed on January 12.

Montgomery was convicted of killing 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett in the northwestern Missouri town of Skidmore in December 2004.

He used a rope to strangle Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant, and then cut the girl from the womb with a kitchen knife, authorities said. Montgomery took the girl with her and tried to pass her off as his own, prosecutors said.

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Montgomery’s legal team has argued that he has serious mental illness. One of her attorneys, Sandra Babcock, said in a previous statement: “Given the severity of Ms. Montgomery’s mental illness, the physical and sexual torture she suffered throughout her life, and the connection between her trauma and the facts of his crime, we appeal to President Trump to grant him mercy and commute his sentence to life imprisonment. “

Biden opposes the death penalty and his spokesman, TJ Ducklo, has said he will work to end its use. But Biden has not said whether he will stop federal executions after he takes office on January 20.

By The Guardian

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