A Kansas girl was executed Wednesday for strangling an expectant mom in Missouri and chopping the infant from her womb, the primary time in practically seven a long time that the U.S. authorities has put to demise a feminine inmate.
Lisa Montgomery, 52, was pronounced lifeless at 1:31 a.m. after receiving a deadly injection on the federal jail complicated in Terre Haute, Indiana. She was the eleventh prisoner to obtain a deadly injection there since July when President Donald Trump, an ardent supporter of capital punishment, resumed federal executions following 17 years with out one.
As the execution course of started, a lady standing over Montgomery’s shoulder leaned over, gently eliminated Montgomery’s face masks, and requested her if she had any final phrases. “No,” Montgomery responded in a quiet, muffled voice. She mentioned nothing else.
Lisa Montgomery, 52, was pronounced lifeless at 1:31 a.m. after receiving a deadly injection. (Attorneys for Lisa Montgomery by way of AP, File)
“The craven bloodlust of a failed administration was on full display tonight,” Montgomery’s lawyer, Kelley Henry mentioned in a press release. “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 mentioned. “Lisa Montgomery’s execution was far from justice.”
It got here after hours of authorized wrangling earlier than the Supreme Court cleared the best way for the execution to maneuver ahead. Montgomery was the primary of the ultimate three federal inmates scheduled to die earlier than subsequent week’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, who is anticipated to discontinue federal executions.
But a federal decide for the District of Columbia halted the scheduled executions later this week of Corey Johnson and Dustin Higgs in a ruling Tuesday. Johnson, convicted of killing seven folks associated to his drug trafficking in Virginia, and Higgs, convicted of ordering the murders of three girls in Maryland, each examined constructive for COVID-19 final month.
Montgomery killed 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett within the northwest Missouri city of Skidmore in 2004. She used a rope to strangle Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant, after which reduce the infant woman from the womb with a kitchen knife. Montgomery took the kid along with her and tried to move the woman off as her personal.
An appeals courtroom granted Montgomery a keep of execution Tuesday, shortly after one other appeals courtroom lifted an Indiana decide’s ruling that discovered she was seemingly mentally in poor health and couldn’t comprehend she can be put to demise. But each appeals had been lifted, permitting the execution of the one feminine on federal demise row to go ahead.
One of Montgomery’s legal professionals, Kelley Henry, advised The Associated Press Tuesday morning that her consumer arrived on the Terre Haute facility late Monday evening from a Texas jail and that, as a result of there are not any amenities for feminine inmates, she was being stored in a cell within the execution-chamber constructing itself.
“I don’t believe she has any rational comprehension of what’s going on at all,” Henry mentioned.
Montgomery has achieved needle-point in jail, making gloves, hats and different knitted gadgets as presents for her legal professionals and others, Henry mentioned. She hasn’t been capable of proceed that pastime or learn since her glasses had been taken away from her out of concern she might commit suicide.
“All of her coping mechanisms were taken away from her when they locked her down” in October when she was knowledgeable she had an execution date, Henry mentioned.
Montgomery’s authorized crew says she suffered “sexual torture,” together with gang rapes, as a toddler, completely scarring her emotionally and exacerbating mental-health points that ran in her household.
At trial, prosecutors accused Montgomery of faking psychological sickness, noting that her killing of Stinnett was premeditated and included meticulous planning, together with on-line analysis on find out how to carry out a C-section.
Henry balked at that concept, citing intensive testing and mind scans that supported the analysis of psychological sickness.
“You can’t fake brain scans that show the brain damage,” she mentioned.
Henry mentioned the problem on the core of the authorized arguments should not whether or not she knew the killing was fallacious in 2004 however whether or not she absolutely grasps why she is slated to be executed now.
In his ruling on a keep, U.S. District Judge James Patrick Hanlon in Terre Haute cited protection specialists who alleged Montgomery suffered from despair, borderline persona dysfunction and post-traumatic stress dysfunction.
Montgomery, the decide wrote, additionally suffered across the time of the killing from a particularly uncommon situation known as pseudocyesis through which a lady’s false perception she is pregnant triggers hormonal and bodily adjustments as if she had been truly pregnant.
Montgomery additionally experiences delusions and hallucinations, believing God spoke along with her by connect-the-dot puzzles, the decide mentioned, citing protection specialists.
“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,” the decide’ mentioned.
The authorities has acknowledged Montgomery’s psychological points however disputes that she will be able to’t comprehend that she is scheduled for execution for killing one other particular person due to them.
Details of the crime at instances left jurors in tears throughout her trial.
Prosecutors advised the jury Montgomery drove about 170 miles (274 kilometers) from her Melvern, Kansas, farmhouse to the northwest Missouri city of Skidmore underneath the guise of adopting a rat terrier pet from Stinnett. She strangled Stinnett performing a crude cesarean and fleeing with the infant.
Prosecutors mentioned Stinnett regained consciousness and tried to defend herself as Montgomery reduce the infant woman from her womb. Later that day, Montgomery known as her husband to choose her up within the parking zone of a Long John Silver’s in Topeka, Kansas, telling him she had delivered the infant earlier within the day at a close-by birthing middle.
Montgomery was arrested the following day after exhibiting off the untimely toddler, Victoria Jo, who’s now 16 years previous and hasn’t spoken publicly concerning the tragedy.
Prosecutors mentioned the motive was that Montgomery’s ex-husband knew she had undergone a tubal ligation that made her sterile and deliberate to disclose she was mendacity about being pregnant in an effort to get custody of two of their 4 kids. Needing a child earlier than a fast-approaching courtroom date, Montgomery turned her deal with Stinnett, whom she had met at canine reveals.
Anti-death penalty teams mentioned Trump was pushing for executions previous to the November election in a cynical bid to burnish a fame as a law-and-order chief.
The final girl executed by the federal authorities was Bonnie Brown Heady on Dec. 18, 1953, for the kidnapping and homicide of a 6-year-old boy in Missouri.
The final girl executed by a state was Kelly Gissendaner, 47, on Sept. 30, 2015, in Georgia. She was convicted of homicide within the 1997 slaying of her husband after she conspired along with her lover, who stabbed Douglas Gissendaner to demise.