US executes first woman on federal death row in nearly seven decades


The US has executed a female inmate for the first time in nearly 70 years.


Lisa Montgomery - the only female inmate on federal death row in the US - was pronounced dead at around 1.31 am (6:31 GMT) on Wednesday after receiving a lethal injection at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, after a last-minute stay of execution was lifted by the US Supreme Court.


The 52-year-old 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.


Montgomery is the first female federal inmate to be put to death by the US government in 67 years.




According to witnesses, a woman standing next to Montgomery during the execution process, removed the inmate's face mask and asked her if she had any last words. Montgomery responded "no", and said nothing else.


An appeals court granted Montgomery a stay of execution on Tuesday, shortly after another appeals court lifted an Indiana judges ruling that found she was likely mentally ill and couldnt comprehend she would be put to death.


But both appeals were lifted, allowing the execution to go forward. She was the eleventh death row inmate to be executed since July when the Trump administration resumed capital punishment following an almost two-decades-long hiatus.


Montgomery's lawyer, Kelley Henry, had called the execution "vicious, unlawful, and unnecessary exercise of authoritarian power."




Bloomington anti-death-penalty activist Glenda Breeden holds a lamp while protesting against the execution of Lisa Montgomery

Ms Henry said in a statement after her death: "The craven bloodlust of a failed administration was on full display tonight.


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. Lisa Montgomerys execution was far from justice.


She added that Montgomery suffered from mental illness that was "exacerbated by the lifetime of sexual torture she suffered at the hands of caretakers," and her lawyers sought a chance to prove her incompetence.


Montgomery strangled her victim who was eight months pregnant with a piece of rope before retrieving the unborn baby girl with a kitchen knife.




Montgomery was the only woman on federal death row

They had met on the internet before the killer drove more than a hundred miles from her home in Kansas to Skidmore to meet her in person.


Prosecutors said she kidnapped the baby and tried to pass her off as her own.


She was arrested the next day and convicted by a jury of murder.