A US judge has granted the suspension of the execution of the death penalty for Lisa Montgomery, 53, scheduled for today 12 January. Montgomery would be the first woman killed by law in the United States in nearly 70 years.
The judge James Hanlon of the Southern District of Indiana, ordered the suspension of the execution of the death penalty for Lisa Montgomery, citing the need to assess Montgomery’s mental abilities. The court will set the date for a new hearing to assess the sentenced’s mental state.
“The information submitted to the court contains ample evidence that Ms. Montgomery’s mental state is so far removed from reality that she cannot rationally understand the reason for her execution,” the judge wrote.
The woman is guilty of strangling the 23-year-old pregnant woman in 2004 Bobbie Jo Stinnett, removing the baby from her womb and attempting to pass it off as hers. The execution was scheduled for January 12 at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute in Indiana.
The decision was welcomed by the US bishops and by Community of Sant’Egidio. The community had launched an appeal complete with a petition to be able to suspend the execution of Lisa Montgomery by commuting her sentence to life imprisonment.
The execution of Lisa Montgomery’s death penalty has been suspended: “We continue to sign the appeal so that her life is saved”
“The Community of Sant’Egidio expresses its deep joy and satisfaction at the decision of an Indiana judge to suspend the execution of Lisa Montgomery, a 67-year-old mentally disabled person, who has been held for 16 years on death row. she would be killed just eight days after Joe Biden took office in the White House. A worldwide mobilization has arisen around the story of Lisa: in a few days thousands of people have joined the appeal of the Community for the suspension of the execution. The news of the suspension fills us with joy and strengthens in us the belief that it is possible to cancel the death penalty forever. We continue to sign the appeal so that his life is saved ” it is read in a community note.
Defense of lawyers: sexual abuse caused brain damage
According to Montgomery’s defense lawyers, the sexual abuse suffered in childhood caused the woman “brain damage and severe mental illness”.
When presented with a statement of his own admitting physical abuse, the stepfather denied having abused her, justifying himself with the fact that he had little memory. Montgomery’s mother, on the other hand, stated that she had never reported the man because she feared for her own life and for her daughter.
The execution was scheduled for last month and then postponed after a suspension to January 12, despite an attempted appeal by defense lawyers. In fact, the Court had initially agreed with the lawyers but the board of judges had reviewed the decision, giving the green light execution. Montgomery’s lawyers also appealed against this execution and won it.