TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — A Kansas woman was executed Wednesday for strangling a pregnant acquaintance and cutting the baby from her womb, the first time in nearly seven decades that the U.S. government has put to death a female inmate.
Lisa Montgomery. (Attorneys for Lisa Montgomery via AP)
Lisa Montgomery, 52, was pronounced dead at 1:31 a.m. after receiving a lethal injection at the federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Indiana. She was the 11th prisoner executed at the facility since July, when President Donald Trump, an ardent supporter of capital punishment, resumed federal executions following 17 years without one.
As a curtain was raised in the execution chamber, Montgomery looked momentarily bewildered as she glanced at journalists peering at her from behind thick glass. A woman standing over her shoulder leaned over, gently removed Montgomery’s face mask and asked if she had any last words.
“No,” Montgomery responded in a quiet, muffled voice. She said nothing else.
She tapped her fingers nervously for several seconds — a heart-shaped tattoo on her thumb — showed no signs of distress, and quickly closed her eyes. As the lethal injection began, Montgomery kept licking her lips and gasped briefly as pentobarbital, the lethal drug, entered her body through IVs on both arms. A few minutes later, her midsection throbbed for a moment, but quickly stopped.
Montgomery lay on a gurney in the pale-green execution chamber, her glasses on and her grayish brown hair spilling over a green medical pillow. At 1:30 a.m., an official with a stethoscope walked into the room, listened to her heart and chest, then walked out. She was pronounced dead a minute later.
“The craven bloodlust of a failed administration was on full display tonight,” Montgomery’s attorney, Kelley Henry, said in a statement. “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 said. “Lisa Montgomery’s execution was far from justice.”
After hours of legal wrangling, the Supreme Court cleared the way for the execution to move forward. Montgomery was the first of the final three federal inmates scheduled to die before next week’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, who is expected to discontinue federal executions.
In a separate ruling Tuesday, which the government can still seek to overturn, another federal judge halted the scheduled executions later this week of Corey Johnson and Dustin Higgs. Johnson, convicted of killing seven people related to his drug trafficking in Virginia, and Higgs, convicted of ordering the murders of three women in Maryland, both tested positive for COVID-19 last month.
The men’s attorneys argued that lung damage caused by the coronavirus would make it more likely that the lethal injection would cause them severe pain. If they aren’t executed before Biden becomes president, they may likely never be put to death.
Montgomery killed 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett in the northwest Missouri town of Skidmore in 2004. She used a rope to strangle Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant, and then cut the baby girl …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News
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