A United States Federal Court has given green light for the only woman on federal death row to be executed before President-elect Joe Biden takes office. The ruling came from a three-judge panel on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. According to reports by AP, the US District Court Judge Randolph Moss had ruled the Justice Department unlawfully rescheduled Montgomery’s execution. Also, he vacated an order from the director of the Bureau of Prisons scheduling her death for January 12.
Attorney of Montgomery, Meaghan VerGow, said that her legal team would move to a full appeals court and ask them to review the case. The woman has been convicted of killing 23-year-old pregnant Bobbie Jo Stinnett during the year 2004. As per the reports by AP, she used a rope to strangle Stinnett. She also cut the baby girl from the womb with a kitchen knife and then took the child with her and attempted to pass the girl off as her own. Her lawyers have argued that she suffers from serious mental illness.
Recently, the United Nations independent human rights experts wrote to the US government expressing concerns about the planned execution of Lisa Montgomery. The group of 10 rights experts has called on the US government to consider clemency for Lisa Montgomery amid concerns that she received inadequate legal assistance during her trial in 2007. The UN rights group has said that the United States government failed to provide Montgomery with adequate legal assistance and also failed to care for the mental health conditions she suffered from. Montgomery, who was a victim of child prostitution, rape, and incest, reportedly suffered from severe mental health problems at the time of the crime, which was not considered during her judicial trial.
Montgomery reportedly met Stinnett online and falsely claimed to be pregnant. After scheduling a meeting with Stinnett, Montgomery went to the latter's home and killed her by strangling her from behind. She then removed the unborn child from Stinnett's womb before fleeing from the crime spot. Montgomery then introduced the child as her own but was caught after police tracked her down through online prints that she had left while communicating with Stinnett.
(with inputs from AP)