The Supreme Court denied earlier today a last-ditch effort by defense attorneys arguing that Lisa Montgomery, the only woman on federal death row, should have received a jurisdiction hearing to prove her serious mental illness, which would have caused her to ineligible for the death penalty.
Lisa Montgomery, 52, was executed by lethal injection at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana, and pronounced dead at 1.31 am local time.
She is the 11th federal inmate sentenced to death to be executed during the Trump administration.
Federal executions had been stopped for 17 years before last summer.
“The government stopped at nothing in its zeal to kill this damaged and delusional woman,” her attorney, Kelley Henry, said in a statement.
“The execution of Lisa Montgomery was far from justice.”
Montgomery’s attorneys went to the Supreme Court last night to challenge an appeals court ruling, but the appeal was denied, clearing the way for execution.
Montgomery’s lawyers, family, and supporters pleaded with President Donald Trump to read their clemency petition and make an executive decision to commute his sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Montgomery was sentenced to death in 2008 by a Missouri jury for the 2004 murder of a pregnant woman, removing the fetus and drying it. The baby survived.
A federal judge yesterday granted Montgomery a stay of execution for a jurisdiction hearing, just hours before his scheduled execution date.
“The Court was right to stop the execution of Lisa Montgomery,” Henry said in a statement.
“As the court found, Ms. Montgomery” made a strong showing “of her current incompetence to be executed.
Ms. Montgomery had brain damage and severe mental illness that was compounded by a lifetime of sexual torture at the hands of her caregivers.
“The Eighth Amendment prohibits the execution of people like Ms. Montgomery who, due to severe mental illness or brain damage, do not understand the basis of their executions. Ms. Montgomery is mentally deteriorating and we are looking for an opportunity to demonstrate her incompetence, “added Mrs. Henry.
Two more executions have been scheduled this week, for Corey Johnson tomorrow and Dustin Higgs on Friday.
Inside America’s Chambers of Death
Both executions have been stopped by a federal court judge as the men are still recovering from COVID-19. Prosecutors intend to appeal the ruling on Higgs and Johnson, according to court documents.