Federal government conducts its first execution of a female since 1953

Lisa M. Montgomery, 52, was executed by lethal injection at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana, and pronounced dead at 1:31 a.m. Wednesday January 11. Montgomery was the first woman to be executed by the Federal Government since 1953 and was the only woman on death row. 

Montgomery was sentenced to death in 2008 by a Missouri jury for the murder of a 23-year-old woman who was eight months pregnant, cutting the fetus out and kidnapping it in 2004. The baby survived and is being raised by her father, Zeb Stinnett. 

Although she is the first woman executed, there have been 10 other executions since the attorney general under the Trump Administration resumed the use of federal capital punishment in July 2019, after a 17 year hiatus. 

Her lawyer stated that the government violated the law by executing her client who suffered from a debilitating mental disease.

“The Eighth Amendment prohibits the execution of people like Mrs. Montgomery who, due to their severe mental illness or brain damage, do not understand the basis for their executions,” attorney Kelley Henry said. “Mrs. Montgomery is mentally deteriorating, and we are seeking an opportunity to prove her incompetence.”

Her lawyer also tested positive for the coronavirus after visiting Montgomery. She stated that executions are superspreader events and the federal government has reckless disregard for the life of innocent citizens.  

“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.”

But the Supreme Court denied the effort, and pleas to President Trump were unsuccessful, leaving the execution finalized.