US carries out its 1st execution of female inmate since 1953

U.S.

FILE – This undated file image provided by Attorneys for Lisa Montgomery shows Lisa Montgomery. An appeals court granted a stay of execution Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, for Montgomery, convicted of killing a pregnant woman and cutting the baby from her womb in the northwest Missouri town of Skidmore in 2004. (Attorneys for Lisa Montgomery via AP, File)

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — A Kansas woman was executed Wednesday for strangling an expectant mother in Missouri 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, 52, was pronounced dead at 1:31 a.m. Wednesday after receiving a lethal injection at the federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Indiana. She was the 11th prisoner to receive a lethal injection there since July when President Donald Trump, an ardent supporter of capital punishment, resumed federal executions following 17 years without one.

“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.”

It came after hours of legal wrangling before 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.

But a federal judge for the District of Columbia halted the scheduled executions later this week of Corey Johnson and Dustin Higgs in a ruling Tuesday. 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.

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 from the womb with a kitchen knife. Montgomery took the child with her and attempted to pass the girl off as her own.

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