Lisa Montgomery, the only woman on federal death row in the US, has been executed for murder.
She received a lethal injection at a prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, after a last-minute stay of execution was lifted by the Supreme Court.
Her case attracted attention because her lawyers argued she was mentally ill and suffered serious abuse as a child.
Lisa Montgomery, 52, strangled a pregnant woman before cutting out and kidnapping her baby in Missouri in 2004.
Her victim, 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett, bled to death.
Lisa Montgomery was the first female federal inmate to be put on federal death row in 67 years.
According to witnesses, a woman standing next to Lisa Montgomery during the execution process, removed the inmate’s face mask and asked her if she had any last words. Lisa Montgomery responded “no”, and said nothing else.
Lisa Montgomery was pronounced dead on January 13, at 01:31 AM. Her lawyer, Kelley Henry, said that everyone who had participated in the execution “should feel shame”.
The lawyer said in a statement: “The government stopped at nothing in its zeal to kill this damaged and delusional woman.
“Lisa Montgomery’s execution was far from justice.”
Lisa Montgomery’s latest execution was postponed twice – first by Covid-19, then by a judge – until a Supreme Court ruling cleared the way for it to take place in the early hours of January 13.
In a dramatic move on January 11, an Indiana judge had halted the scheduled injection until a mental competency hearing could be held.
Lisa Montgomery’s lawyers argued that she had been born brain-damaged and was too mentally ill to be executed.
As a child Lisa Montgomery was routinely abused by her father and trafficked by her mother, family members said. Her treatment was so violent that it amounted to torture, her lawyers say.
Her defense team believe that at the time of her crime, Lisa Montgomery was psychotic and out of touch with reality. That opinion is supported by 41 current and former lawyers as well as human rights groups like the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
However, Bobbie Jo Stinnett ‘s family and friends say the murder committed by Montgomery was so horrific that she deserved to be put to death regardless of her mental health.
Lisa Montgomery killed Bobbie Jo Stinnett in Skidmore, Missouri, after befriending the pregnant woman online over a shared love of dogs. After driving to Stinnett’s house, Lisa Montgomery overpowered the pregnant woman, strangled her with a piece of rope, and cut the baby out of her womb.
Police found Lisa Montgomery cradling a new-born girl she claimed to have given birth to the day before. After her story fell apart, she confessed to the killing.
Lisa Montgomery was found guilty of the crime in 2007. The next day, she was sentenced to death.