NEW YORK (US) – On Wednesday, the US government executed convicted murderer Lisa Montgomery, the only woman on the Federal death row. This came after the Supreme Court cleared all obstacles for the execution by overturning a stay.
She is the first female prisoner to be executed since 1953 in the country.
There were challenges galore across several federal courts on whether to sanction the execution of Montgomery, 52, who was put to death by lethal injection of pentobarbital, a powerful barbiturate, in the Justice Department’s execution chamber at its prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Having a conservative majority, the US Supreme Court cleared all obstacles for her execution by overturning a stay by the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals.
Her lawyer Kelley Henry termed the execution “vicious, unlawful, and unnecessary exercise of authoritarian power.”
“No one can credibly dispute Mrs. Montgomery’s longstanding debilitating mental disease – diagnosed and treated for the first time by the Bureau of Prisons’ own doctors,” Henry said in a statement.
Montgomery was pronounced dead at 1:31 am EST (0631 GMT) on Wednesday, said the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
She was convicted in 2007 in Missouri of kidnapping and strangling Bobbie Jo Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant. Montgomery cut Stinnett’s foetus from the womb, but the child survived.
The Justice Department said a few of Stinnett’s relatives came to witness Montgomery’s execution.
When the whole process began, a female executioner asked Montgomery if she had any last words, to which she replied in a muffled tone, “No”, said a reporter who was present as the media witness.
Last week, her lawyers asked for President Donald Trump’s clemency, saying the crime was committed after a bitter childhood in which she underwent repeated rape by her stepfather and his friends.