The execution of the only woman on federal death row has been delayed. A judge said the Justice Department had illegally postponed the execution next month.
Lisa Montgomery, 52, was due to arrive on Jan.. He would be executed at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana on January 1st.
Montgomery should be on Aug.. December to be killed for the first time, but U. . S.. . District Court judge Randolph Moss suspended the execution after Montgomery’s attorneys contracted coronavirus and asked for more time to file a pardon.
U. . S.. . District Court judge Randolph Moss on Saturday overturned the order that the execution was scheduled for December 12. January and the Bureau of Prisons forbidden to execute the sentence before the end of the year.
« The Court accordingly concludes that the director’s order to reschedule execution while the court was in effect was ‘inconsistent with the law,’ » Moss wrote, according to the Associated Press.
Sandra Babcock, a Montgomery attorney, released a statement stating, « The district court ruled that the government must comply with the law by not setting an execution date for Lisa Montgomery while her execution is suspended. «
The Bureau of Prisons cannot order the execution of Montgomery until April 1 at the earliest. January plan. According to Justice Department guidelines, a death row inmate must be notified at least 20 days prior to an execution.
Moss’ order means the execution of Montgomery can now be scheduled after President-elect Joe Biden – a death penalty critic who seeks to abolish the punishment – took office. It is not clear if Biden plans to stop all federal executions once he comes to power.
Babcock urged President Donald Trump to commute her client’s judgment. « Given the severity of woman. Montgomery’s mental illness, the sexual and physical torture she has endured throughout her life, and the connection between her trauma and the facts of her crime, we appeal to President Trump to grant her mercy and commute her sentence to life imprisonment, « Babcock said.
Trump is pushing execution to end-of-term after ending a 17-year hiatus in federal executions earlier this year. The government carried out 10 death sentences, two in December. Trump’s government has killed more prisoners than any other government for more than 130 years.
Last year, former Attorney General Bill Barr said, « The Justice Department upholds the rule of law – and we owe it to the victims and their families to continue the sentence imposed by our judicial system. «
Montgomery was convicted of killing 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett in December 2004 in Skidmore, Missouri. Montgomery strangled Stinnett – who was eight months pregnant – with rope before cutting her baby from the womb. Montgomery then took the surviving baby and tried to pass it off as her own daughter, prosecutors said.
Montgomery’s legal team said she suffered from severe mental illness and had been severely ill-treated in the past. If she were to be executed, she would be the first woman to be killed by the federal government since 1953.
Montgomery’s sister told Newsweek this month, « More than a dozen women have committed similar crimes across the country, and no one but Lisa has been sentenced to death. «
« It’s a very simple question, » said Diane Mattingly. « We are not demanding that she be released from prison. We’re not asking for a pardon or anything like that. We are only asking that the death sentence be brought to life. «
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