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​The Only Woman On Federal Death Row Now Faces Execution

​The Only Woman On Federal Death Row Now Faces Execution

Lisa Montgomery, 52, was convicted of killing 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett in 2004

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman

The only woman on federal death row is set to face execution after a US appeals court overruled a decision to delay her death.

Lisa Montgomery, 52, was convicted of killing 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett in Skidmore, Missouri, in December 2004.

She strangled Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant, before cutting into her body with a kitchen knife to remove her baby - who she took with her in an attempt to pass the child off as her own.

In 2007, a jury found Montgomery guilty of federal kidnapping resulting in death, unanimously recommending a death sentence.


Her lawyers have since argued that she is mentally unwell, having experienced brain damage from being beaten as a child, and therefore should not face the death penalty.

Sandra Babcock, one of Montgomery's lawyers, said in an earlier statement: "Given the severity of Mrs Montgomery's mental illness, the sexual and physical torture she endured throughout her life, and the connection between her trauma and the facts of her crime, we appeal to President Trump to grant her mercy and commute her sentence to life imprisonment."

Montgomery had been scheduled to be excited by lethal injection at the federal correctional complex in Terre Haute, Indiana, in December.

However, US district court judge Randolph Moss delayed her death after her attorneys contracted coronavirus visiting their client.


On Boxing Day, Moss then vacated a Federal Bureau of Prisons order rescheduling her death for 12 January, having sided with her lawyers - who said a new date could not be set while a stay was in place - so thata date could not be rescheduled until at least 1 January.

But on 1 January a three-judge panel on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit concluded that the date had been delayed in error and reinstated the execution.

The ruling means Montgomery can now be executed, with the new date landing just days before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

This means Montgomery is set to be the first woman in more than 70 years to undergo a federal execution in the US, with the last being Bonnie Heady in 1953.

If the remaining executions go ahead, current President Donald Trump will have overseen the most executions by a US president in more than a century.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: News, US News