The execution of Lisa Montgomery, the only woman on federal death row, has been rescheduled for January 12, CNN reports. The woman was earlier condemned to be executed by lethal injection on December 8, but the execution was postponed by a federal judge after her lawyers reported that they contracted COVID-19 after visiting the woman in prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Three judges on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the federal judge that postponed the execution of Montgomery, 52, erred and fixed it a week before President Donald Trump will leave the office for the execution. Meaghan VerGow, Montgomery’s lawyer, said she will appeal the decision of the three judges and have been given till Saturday to do so.
“Given everything we know about Lisa Montgomery’s mental illness, her lifetime of horrific torture and trauma, and the 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,” VerGow said. “The government should stop its relentless efforts to end her life.”
VerGow had begged President Trump to commute Montgomery’s death sentence to life without parole but this has not been granted. The last time the United States executed a woman was in 1953 when Bonnie Brown Heady was executed for kidnapping and murder. That same year, Ethel Rosenberg was also executed for espionage.
Since Trump became president, his administration has endorsed the execution of 10 federal criminals – with the 10 executions being carried out in the last year of his presidency. Montgomery was in 2004 convicted of murdering an 8-month pregnant woman and then cutting open her womb to extract the baby which she also kidnapped and claimed for herself, Fox News writes.
One of Montgomery’s attorneys and a Nashville public defender, Kelley Henry, stated that the condemned woman “is on suicide watch and has been issued the highest mental health designation” since her execution date was announced.
However, it appears the Trump administration is in a hurry to executive as many criminals on federal death row as can be executed before Trump leaves office on January 20 since President-elect Joe Biden has vowed to revoke the federal death penalty during his tenure.