US executes first female federal death row inmate in almost 70 years

Lisa Montgomery, a 52 year old woman, was executed on Wednesday by lethal injection after the US Supreme Court denied the application of stay of execution. Montgomery, the only woman on the death row, was the first woman to be executed by the US government in over 7 decades. She was executed by lethal injection at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana, and pronounced dead at 1:31 a.m. Wednesday.

Montgomery was the first woman to be executed by the federal government since 1953 and was the only woman on death row. The Supreme Court denied a last-ditch effort late Tuesday by her defense attorneys who argued that she should have been given a competency hearing to prove her severe mental illness, which would have made her ineligible for the death penalty. Montgomery’s attorneys, family and supporters had pleaded with President Donald Trump to read their clemency petition and make an executive decision to commute her sentence to life without the possibility of parole.

Montgomery was sentenced to death in 2008 by a Missouri jury for the 2004 murder of a 23-year-old pregnant woman 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 as part of a custody dispute. Montgomery was found guilty of kidnapping resulting in death and sentenced to death at her 2007 trial.