U.S. govt executes first woman in almost 70 years

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on January 13, 2021 - Duration: 01:55s

U.S. govt executes first woman in almost 70 years

[NFA] The U.S. government executed convicted murderer Lisa Montgomery, the only woman on federal death row, early on Wednesday, after the Supreme Court cleared the last hurdle for her execution by overturning a stay.

Matthew Larotonda reports.

U.S. govt executes first woman in almost 70 years

The U.S. federal prison system has now executed the first woman on its death row in nearly seven decades.

Lisa Montgomery was convicted in a twisted murder case in 2007 -- kidnapping and strangling a pregnant mother, Bobbie Jo Stinnet, and cutting the fetus from the victim's womb.

The child survived.

However multiple legal challenges had been unsuccessfully brought against Montgomery's death sentence, before it was cleared to proceed at a prison in Indiana by the Supreme Court.

Her lawyers have said that Montgomery herself had suffered longstanding and debilitating mental health problems, after a childhood in which she was repeatedly abused and raped by her own stepfather and his friends.

We spoke with her lawyer Kelley Henry earlier this month.

"one of the things that can be considered is proportionality.

And we know that Mrs. Montgomery is the only person who has committed this sort of crime to be facing execution.

And that is because other prosecutors recognize that women who commit these crimes typically have a very serious history of mental illness and trauma, as Lisa does." Her lawyers had asked for life in prison instead, and also petitioned President Trump for clemency.

One called the execution a, quote, "vicious, unlawful, and unnecessary exercise of authoritarian power." Federal executions had been on pause for 17 years and only three men had been executed since 1963, until the practice resumed last year under President Trump -- an outspoken supporter of capital punishment.

Asked if she had any last words before her death, Montgomery reportedly said "No."

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