The US court allowed the execution of the only woman sentenced to death for a federal crime: what was she guilty of?

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Lisa Montgomery strangled a pregnant woman (Photo: kansascity.com)

Reported by BBC.

Montgomery’s execution date was originally set for last month, but was delayed after her lawyers became ill with Covid-19. The execution was then postponed to January 12 by the Ministry of Justice.

Montgomery’s lawyers argued that a date could not be set as long as the suspension was in effect. The district court sided with the convict’s lawyers, overturning the order of the director of the Bureau of Prisons to set the date of her death.

But on Friday, January 1, a panel of judges concluded that the director had acted in accordance with the law by allowing the execution.

Montgomery’s legal team said they would file a motion for the judges to reconsider their decision.

A total of 51 women are awaiting the death penalty in the United States, according to report Legal Defense and Education Fund for 2020. Of these, 50 women were convicted at the state level, and only Lisa Montgomery at the federal level.

So if the execution takes place, Montgomery will be the first woman in nearly 70 years to be executed for a federal crime.

According to the Execution Information Center, the last woman to be executed by the US government at the same level was Bonnet Guidi, who died in a gas chamber in Missouri in 1953 for kidnapping and murder.

Who is Lisa Montgomery?

Lisa Montgomery was convicted of the brutal murder of 23-year-old Bobby Joe Stinnet in Northwest Missouri, Skidmore, in December 2004.

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Montgomery attacked Stinnet, who was eight months pregnant, and strangled her until the victim passed out. Then she cut open the belly of the still living woman to get the child, and took him with her, trying to pass off as her own.

In 2007, a jury sentenced Montgomery to death after finding her guilty of a federal crime of kidnapping resulting in death.

Montgomery’s lawyers claimed that their client suffered from a serious mental illness.

When did the US resume the federal death penalty?

According to the US justice system, crimes can be tried either in federal courts – that is, at the national level, or in state courts – at the regional level.

The death penalty as a punishment for a crime was practiced in several states, but at the federal level it was banned for a long time – since 2003, a moratorium on federal executions was in effect.

At the end of June 2020, the US Supreme Court issued a ruling that created opportunities for the reinstatement of the death penalty at the federal level.

On December 11, 2020, 40-year-old Brandon Bernard was executed in the United States. It was the ninth federal death penalty after a 17-year hiatus and the first in 130 years during the post-election transition in the United States. The resumption of executions in the United States has been criticized by human rights activists.

The current US President Donald Trump intended to execute as many death row prisoners as possible before leaving the White House. This is a violation of one of the country’s political traditions.

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Before Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, five federal executions were planned in the United States.

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