As reported CNN, a federal judge in Indiana gave Lisa Montgomery an adjournment of her sentence several hours before she was to be given a lethal injection.
According to the court, the suspect had a mental health problem and could not understand the rationale for the sentence. The date for a hearing on Montgomery’s jurisdiction has yet to be set.
A new date for the death penalty should also be set after the hearing.
On January 12, Montgomery was to be given a lethal injection. She could become the first woman in nearly 70 years to be executed for a federal crime.
In total, 51 women are facing the death penalty in the US, 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.
Who is Lisa Montgomery?
Lisa Montgomery was convicted of the brutal murder of 23-year-old Bobby Joe Stinnet in Northwestern Missouri, Skidmore, in December 2004.
Montgomery attacked Stinnet, who was eight months pregnant, and strangled her until the victim passed out. Then she cut open the belly of a 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 she was found guilty of a federal crime of kidnapping and death.
Montgomery’s lawyers argued that their client was suffering 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 was going 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.
Prior to Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, five federal executions were planned in the United States.