Lisa Montgomery was sentenced to death in 2007 for kidnapping and strangling eight-months-pregnant Bobbie Jo Stinnett (Picture: Reuters)
The only woman on death row in the US has been executed for the kidnap and murder of an expectant mum.
Convicted killer Lisa Montgomery, aged 52, died by lethal injection early this morning.
Her execution marked the first time the US government has used the death sentence on a female prisoner since 1953.
Montgomery, now 52, was convicted in 2007 in Missouri for kidnapping and strangling Bobbie Jo Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant.
She cut Bobbie’s foetus from the womb – but the child survived.
Challenges were fought across multiple courts on whether to allow the execution to go ahead.
Kelley Henry, Montgomery’s lawyer, called the pending execution ‘vicious, unlawful, and unnecessary exercise of authoritarian power’.
‘No one can credibly dispute Mrs Montgomery’s longstanding debilitating mental disease – diagnosed and treated for the first time by the Bureau of Prisons’ own doctors,’ she said in a statement.
It is the first time a female prisoner has been executed by the US federal government for almost 70 years (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)
Activists in opposition to the death penalty gathered to protest the execution of Montgomery (Picture: Reuters)
Montgomery had initially been scheduled to be killed by lethal injections of pentobarbital, a powerful barbiturate, yesterday in the Justice Department’s execution chamber at its prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.
But she was granted an eleventh-hour stay of execution due to mental health concerns.
Her lawyers asked for leniency last week, saying Montgomery committed her crime after a childhood in which she was abused and repeatedly raped by her stepdad and his friends, and so should instead face life in prison.
However a reporter serving as media witness said the Supreme Court overturned the stay of execution and it went ahead.
Some of Bobbie’s relatives travelled to witness Montgomery’s execution, the Justice Department said.
It was one of three executions scheduled for the final full week of president Donald Trump’s administration.
Two other executions, scheduled for tomorrow and Friday, have been delayed temporarily by a judge in Washington to allow them to recover from coronavirus.
Federal executions had been on pause for 17 years, and only three men had been executed by the federal government since 1963, until the practice was resumed last year under president Trump.
The US federal government rarely applies the death penalty – with the large majority of death sentences being imposed and carried out by state governments.
He has supported capital punishment since long before his entry into politics.
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