The U.S. Federal Government Executes the First Woman Inmate Since 1953
Lisa Montgomery was put to death by lethal injection after she murdered Bobbie Jo Stinnett, a 23-year-old woman who was eight months pregnant, in 2004
A Kansas woman who strangled a pregnant mother and cut her baby out from her womb over a decade ago has been put to death by the U.S. government — the first time in nearly seven decades for a female inmate.
On Wednesday morning, Lisa Montgomery was pronounced dead at 1:31 a.m. following a lethal injection at the federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Indiana, according to the Associated Press.
Montgomery, 52, became the 11th federal death row inmate to be executed by President Donald Trump's administration after a 17-year hiatus in federal executions.
The last woman to be executed by the federal government was Bonnie Brown Heady in 1953, for the kidnapping and murder of a young boy in Missouri, while the last woman executed by a state was Kelly Gissendaner in 2015. She was convicted of murder in the 1997 death of her husband, the AP reported.
Back in 2004, Montgomery drove from Kansas to Missouri to purchase a dog from Bobbie Jo Stinnett, a 23-year-old dog breeder who was eight months pregnant, per the AP. Montgomery strangled the young expecting mother and cut her fetus from her womb, before she attempted to pass the child — who survived — as her own.
Victoria Jo, the premature baby who is now 16 years old, hasn't spoken publicly about the horrific ordeal, the outlet adds.
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Montgomery was sentenced to death in 2008, according to CNN, and a federal judge granted the woman a stay of execution, pointing to the need to decide whether or not she was too mentally ill to be executed, which would have made her unable to receive the death penalty.
But the Supreme Court denied the court order and requests to Trump, 74, from family, supporters and her attorney were unsuccessful.
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Kelley Henry, Montgomery's attorney, blamed the Trump administration's "bloodlust" for her execution.
"The craven bloodlust of a failed administration was on full display tonight," Henry said in a statement, per the AP. "Everyone who participated in the execution of Lisa Montgomery should feel shame."
"The government stopped at nothing in its zeal to kill this damaged and delusional woman," Henry added. "Lisa Montgomery's execution was far from justice."
Two more executions were scheduled this week — for Corey Johnson on Thursday and Dustin Higgs on Friday, according to NPR — but both men have tested positive for COVID-19 and a judge ruled that their executions be delayed until March to allow them to recover. The Justice Department, however, has appealed that order.