Standard.co.uk ——————- By Emily Lawford ——————- Sun., Oct. 18, 2020
The US is to execute a female federal inmate for the first time in almost 70 years, the Justice Department said on Friday.
Lisa Montgomery was convicted of strangling a pregnant woman before cutting her body open and kidnapping her baby in Missouri in 2004.
She is due to be executed by a lethal injection Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana on December 8.
The last woman to be executed by the US government was Bonnie Heady, who died in a gas chamber in Missouri in 1953, according to the Death Penalty Information Centre.
In December 2004, Montgomery drove from Kansas to the home of Bobbie Jo Stinnett, in Missouri, purportedly to purchase a puppy, the Department of Justice said in a press release.
“Once inside the residence, Montgomery attacked and strangled Stinnett – who was eight months pregnant – until the victim lost consciousness,” it said.
Using a kitchen knife, Montgomery then cut into Stinnett’s abdomen, causing her to regain consciousness. A struggle ensued, and Montgomery strangled Stinnett to death. Montgomery then removed the baby from Stinnett’s body, took the baby with her, and attempted to pass it off as her own.”
In 2007, a jury found Montgomery guilty of federal kidnapping resulting in death, and unanimously recommended a death sentence. However, Montgomery’s lawyers say she experienced brain damage from beatings as a child and is mentally unwell, so should not face the death penalty.
They also argued she was suffering from pseudocyesis, which causes a woman to falsely believe she is pregnant and exhibit outward signs of pregnancy.