For the first time in sixty-eight years, a federal death sentence was imposed on a woman in the United States on Wednesday.
Lisa Montgomeryn was executed after the state’s highest court overturned a decision by an Indiana state court to postpone execution, which the body made on Tuesday.
The execution was injected into his blood by poison injection.
Montgomery, 52, was sentenced to death in Missouri in 2007 after a court found him guilty of
he had abducted and strangled an eight-month-old pregnant woman three years earlier and cut the living fetus out of her belly.
The court, citing Montgomery’s mental condition, decided to postpone the execution:
the woman would have received an injection of poison, but was reportedly unable to comprehend the reason for the verdict, and Judge James Patrick Hanlon ordered a psychiatric examination.
The Reuters news agency recalls that the woman has not been executed since 1953 under a federal death sentence.
Although Kelley Henry, Montgomery’s attorney, said
his protégé’s deteriorating mental condition does not allow him to grasp the reasoning for the verdict, the prosecutor said Montgomery was merely pretending to be mentally disturbed, pointing out that he had acted prudently, after careful planning.
Another defender of Montgomery, Meaghan VerGow, in his petition for pardon to the outgoing US President Donald Trump, stressed that
his protégé was abused and raped in series throughout his life.
Analysts previously believed that the execution would no longer take place during Trump’s tenure, and his successor, Joe Biden, who will be in office on Jan. 20, promised to abolish the federal-level death penalty if elected.
U.S. Secretary of Justice William Barr announced in 2019 that the federal government would resume enforcing death sentences after the last defendant sentenced to death by a federal court was executed in 2003. Since then, ten people have been executed in the United States on the basis of such a verdict. They were all sent to a mourning house for a murder committed with particular cruelty. In 2001, the Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh was the first federal death row inmate to be executed in the country since 1963.
Article and cover image: AFP
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