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The previous vacated execution date for Lisa Montgomery has been reinstated. A panel of three judges on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to reinstate the execution on Jan. 1, 2021. The judges announced the execution will happen later in the month and before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn into office.
Biden has announced after he is inaugurated he plans to abolish the federal death penalty. Montgomery was initially supposed to be executed on Dec. 8, 2020. However, a judge postponed the execution due to her lawyers saying they had contracted COVID-19.
Meaghan VerGow, one of Montgomery’s lawyers, released a statement saying she disagreed with the judges’ decision. The judges gave VerGow until January 2 to file the petition. The attorney believes that Montgomery’s mental health status should cause the law to give the woman some leniency.
… everything we know about Lisa Montgomery’s mental illness, her lifetime of horrific torture and trauma… many people in positions of authority who could have intervened to save her but never did, there can be no principled reason to carry out her execution.
She added that she felt “The government should its relentless efforts to end her life.” The attorney has asked President Donald Trump to lighten her client’s sentence to life without the possibility of parole.
There have been 10 federal executions in the final months of Trump’s administration. Which are the most executions there has been in the U.S. in many years. The U.S. has not executed a woman in 68 years. In 1953, the U.S. government executed Bonnie Brown Heady for kidnapping and murder.
Montgomery was sentenced for killing 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnet in Skidmore, Missouri in December 2004. Stennett was eight months pregnant at the time of her murder. Montgomery used a rope to strangle her before using a kitchen knife to cut out the baby.
After cutting the child out of Stinnett — Montgomery attempted to pass off the baby girl as her own. Her lawyers have argued that Montgomery suffers from serious mental illnesses. They believe these illnesses cause her to act irrationally.
Written by Sheena Robertson
NBC News: Lisa Montgomery: Appeals court clears way for only woman on federal death row to be executed
CNN: Execution date for the only woman on federal death row is reinstated; by Christina Carrega
NBC News: Lisa Montgomery, 1st woman to face federal execution in decades: lawyers have Covid, seek delay; by Phil McCausland
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