United States, death penalty for a woman: it hadn’t happened since 1953

While in the world there seems to be a growing consensus for the abolition of the death penalty (the December 16 123 countries out of 193 UN members voted in favor of the moratorium, two more than in 2018), the United States of the transition from Donald Trump to Joe Biden go against the trend. In fact, in a succession of negative records, the resigning president ordered that the youngest inmate of the last 70 years be executed (Brandon Bernard, 40, killed on the night of 11 December), in an execution (the first of five) which for the first time in 130 years takes place in the transition period between two presidents.

Also, for the first time since 1953, a woman, Lisa Montgomery, will be executed. A long article by The New York Times tells his story: a biography of abuse, violence, mental problems and finally gross judicial errors. Precisely because of the judicial errors, judged a real violation of human rights by the lawyers who followed Lisa after the sentence (Kelley Henry, Amy Harwell and Lisa Nouri), a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Despite the request, the woman’s only hope is in the clemency of outgoing President Trump.

But what led Lisa to the death penalty? The crime committed is objectively terrifying: he strangled a pregnant woman, Bobbie Joe Stinnet, then cut her belly and extracted the fetus which she brought to the house where she lived with her husband. Fortunately, the child survived. Lisa’s guilt, confessed by herself, has never been questioned, but similar crimes have been committed in the US, according to the Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, by at least 16 other women from 1976 to today. And none of them were executed.

Lisa’s case, according to human rights activists and lawyers who followed her after her sentence, appears to have been marred by a lack of expertise on her mental health as well as the absence of a gender perspective on her whole. life. Born into an abusive family, she would have suffered sexual violence since adolescence and would now be the victim of bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress, brain damage due to trauma. In prison, it took her a month to learn how to make her bed according to the internal rules.

See Also:  Hooters worker criticizes chain in viral video for paying her only two dollars an hour

Going into the details of Lisa Montgomery’s life would have led to understanding what led her to make that gesture, which to define insane is perhaps punctual, for which she was condemned? In the United States, a Supreme Court ruling prevents people from being punished with death who are unable to understand and will: but this was not taken into consideration by either the jury or the judge who dealt with Lisa. Even the group of lawyers who followed her before the sentence – all men and from whom several lawyers were removed – would seem to have “forgotten” about the abuses that Lisa suffered before becoming a killer, and to point out that she was absolutely unable to take care of himself or his children. All elements that would have helped to avoid the maximum penalty.

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, Lisa will not be able to receive visits (except from family members or lawyers) before the fatal injection, which will take place on 12 January next.

You might also be interested in:

And if you believe in independent, serious journalism that tells from places, you can support us by going to Support us

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.