A judge has granted permission to postpone the first execution of a woman by the U.S. government in nearly seven decades – Lisa Montgomery of Kansas, who killed a pregnant woman in Missouri by cutting the baby out of her womb and passing off the newborn as her own.
Judge Patrick Hanlon allowed the execution to be postponed, citing the need to determine Montgomery’s mental competence, Topeka Capital-Journal reported. Lisa Montgomery was scheduled to be executed today at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana, just eight days before President-elect Joe Biden, an opponent of the federal death penalty, takes office.
Montgomery drove about 275 from her farmhouse in Melvern, Kansas, to Skidmore, northwest Missouri, under the pretense of adopting a terrier puppy from Bobby Jo Stinnett. She strangled Stinnett with a rope before performing a brutal C-section and escaping with the infant. She was arrested the next day after showing her premature baby, Victoria Jo, now 16.
Attorneys for Montgomery claim that childhood sexual abuse led to mental illness in Montgomery. “Montgomery has brain damage and severe mental illness that was exacerbated by the sexual torture she endured throughout her life at the hands of her guardians,” defenders say.