The US Department of Justice (DoJ) announced on Friday that it will be carrying out the first federal execution of a female inmate in almost seven decades. The date has been scheduled on December 8, when Lisa Montgomery, a 2004 murder convict, will be executed. Montgomery will be given a lethal injection on that day at the Federal Correctional Complex in Indiana.
Montgomery will be the ninth person to be put to death since July when the Justice Department resumed executions after a gap of almost two decades. The justice department on Friday also scheduled a December 10 execution for Brandon Bernard, who with his accomplices had murdered two youth ministers in 1999.
First in 7 Decades
Montgomery will be the first woman to be executed in a US federal prison since Bonnie Heady, who was executed by the US government, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Heady was put to death in a gas chamber in 1953.
Montgomery had strangled and killed Bobbie Jo Stinnett, an eight-month pregnant woman in 2004. Prosecutors said she used a kitchen knife to remove Stinnett's baby from her womb. She then took the child with her and attempted to pass the girl off as her own. After that, she was arrested and tried.
Three years later, in 2007, Montgomery was sentenced to death by a US district court after declaring her guilty of kidnapping and murder. At the time, Montgomery's lawyers had argued that she was suffering from delusions when she killed Stinnett, but the jury rejected the defense.
What Her Attorney Says
Even now, Montgomery's attorney, Kelley Henry, argues that she deserves to live because she is mentally ill and suffered childhood abuse. But that is not going to won't help much as the date of her execution has been set. "Lisa Montgomery has long accepted full responsibility for her crime, and she will never leave prison," Henry said. "But her severe mental illness and the devastating impacts of her childhood trauma make executing her a profound injustice."
The Trump administration restarted federal execution in July after a hiatus of 17 years. The decision came after the Bureau of Prisons last year announced that it was switching to a new single-drug protocol for lethal injections, from a three-drug combination it last used in 2003. Following this, Daniel Lewis Lee, a white supremacist convicted of murdering a family of three, was the first to be executed. Since then five more executions have been held over the past few months.