Stay granted to inmate set to be first woman executed by US in decades
Published on: Wednesday, January 13, 2021
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WASHINGTON: A judge has granted a stay of execution to Lisa Montgomery (pic), who was set Tuesday to be the first female inmate executed by the US federal government in 70 years.

Montgomery, 52, has been imprisoned for 16 years after she killed a pregnant woman in order to steal her fetus. 

She was scheduled to receive a lethal injection Tuesday evening at a federal penitentiary in Terre-Haute, Indiana.

But Judge James Hanlon of the Southern District of Indiana granted her an eleventh-hour stay of execution Monday.

Montgomery’s lawyers had argued she was too mentally incompetent to be executed, and said she had been born brain-damaged and endured a life of extreme abuse before committing her crime.

“The record before the Court contains ample evidence that Ms. Montgomery’s current mental state is so divorced from reality that she cannot rationally understand the government’s rationale for her execution,” Judge Hanlon wrote in his ruling.

“’Both the (government) and the victims of crime have an important interest in the timely enforcement of a sentence,’” he said, citing precedent.

But “it is also in the public interest to ensure that the government does not execute a prisoner who due to her mental condition ‘cannot appreciate the meaning of a community’s judgment.’”

Hanlon said the court will set a time and date for a competency hearing for Montgomery.

In 2004, unable to have a child, Montgomery carefully identified her pregnant victim, 23-year-old dog breeder Bobbie Jo Stinnett, online.

Under the guise of buying a puppy, Montgomery went to Stinnett’s home, where she strangled her to death and cut the baby from her body. She left Stinnett dead in a pool of blood.

In 2007, she was convicted of kidnapping resulting in death and handed a death sentence.

She would have been the first woman executed by the federal justice system since 1953. 


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