Becomes the first woman to be executed by federal authorities in the United States in almost 70 years


Lisa Montgomery confessed in 2004 to strangling a heavily pregnant woman and then cutting out the fetus from her abdomen.

Lisa Montgomery is scheduled to be executed on December 8. Photo: Lisa Montgomery’s lawyers / Reuters / NTB

Lisa Montgomery from Kansas is now the first woman to be executed after the death penalty at the federal level, at 67 years old.

The crime shocked the world in 2004. In December of that year, 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett, eight months pregnant, was contacted regarding a puppy ad she had posted online.

Lisa Montgomery, then 36, returned to Stinnett, Missouri, in the Midwest.

There she is said to have strangled Stinnett with a rope until she died, before she cut the fetus out of her stomach.

A day later, the fetus was found in Montgomery’s home. There she is said to have told her husband that she gave birth to the baby suddenly and unexpectedly.

Montgomery is said to have confessed to both the murder and the kidnapping of the fetus by the police shortly after. The child survived and has since grown up with his father. She is now 16 years old.

Sentenced to death

Three years later, in 2007, Montgomery was sentenced to death by a federal court.

Only three inmates have been executed at the federal level from 1988 until July this year. The Trump administration has carried out seven executions since then.

On December 8 this year, Lisa Montgomery is scheduled to die. In the Indiana prison, she will be injected with a lethal dose of poison.

Lisa Montgomery is now 52 years old and is in the federal prison in Terre Haute in the state of Indiana. There she is the only woman among the 55 who have been sentenced to death. Foto: Michael Conroy/AP/NTB

Must have had a cruel upbringing

Her defenders have explained that she suffers from brain damage after violence in her upbringing. Among other things, her alcoholic and mentally ill mother is said to have exchanged sex with her daughter for money. She is also said to have been gang-raped by adult men.

This is said to have led to Montgomery suffering from trauma and repeated psychoses.

With this as a backdrop, the defender believes that the death penalty can not be justified.

“Few people have experienced the kind of torture and trauma inflicted on Lisa Montgomery by her mentally ill, alcoholic mother,” defense attorney Kelley Henry said Friday, according to The New York Times.

One of the few women

If the execution is carried out as planned, she will be the first woman since 1953 to be executed by the federal authorities.

A Supreme Court ruling in 1972 banned the death penalty at both the state and federal levels. It was then changed in the Supreme Court four years later, so that the states could again impose the death penalty. In 1988, the government introduced the death penalty at the federal level.

At the state level, 16 women have been executed since 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Less than 2 percent of those sentenced to death in the United States are women. Less than 1 percent of those executed are women.

There are 28 states that practice the death penalty in the United States, in addition to the federal death penalty. Although 78 people were sentenced to death at the federal level between 1988 and July 2020, only three were executed, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

Since 1632, more than 15,000 executions have been documented by the US government. 575 of these have been women, according to The New York Times.

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