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Home » US government to execute first woman in more than 60 years

US government to execute first woman in more than 60 years

Lisa Montgomery has been convicted of fatally strangling a pregnant woman, cutting off her body and kidnapping her baby is scheduled to be the first inmate sentenced to death by the U.S. government in more than sixty years, according to a US Justice Department report on Friday.

The woman is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on December 8 at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana. She would be the ninth federal prisoner sentenced to death since the Justice Department resumed executions in July, after a hiatus of nearly 20 years.

Montgomery was convicted of the murder of Bobbie Jo Stinnett, 23, in Skidmore, northwest Missouri, in December 2004.

Bobbie Jo Stinnett

Bobbie Jo Stinnett

According to prosecutors, Montgomery went to Stinnett’s home in Skidmore claiming to adopt a rat terrier puppy. When she arrived at the victim’s home, Montgomery used a rope to strangle Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant. Authorities also report that Stinnett was conscious and trying to defend himself while Montgomery used a kitchen knife to cut his belly and pull his daughter out of the victim’s womb.

Prosecutors said Montgomery removed the baby from Stinnett’s body, took the baby with her and tried to make it look like the girl was his.

Montgomery’s lawyers argued that she was suffering from delusions when she killed Stinnett, but a jury rejected her defense. Her lawyers also argued that she was suffering from pseudocyesis, which causes the woman to falsely believe that she is pregnant and exhibit external signs of pregnancy.

Other executions

The Justice Department also scheduled on Friday the execution of a man convicted of the 1999 murder of two young men in Texas. Brandon Bernard, 40, is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on December 10.

Bernard and his co-defendant, Christopher Vialva, were convicted of the kidnapping and murder of Todd and Stacie Bagley in 1999, an Iowa couple who stopped to use a pay phone in Killeen, Texas. The couple agreed to give Vialva and two other people a lift, officials said. Vialva drew a gun, forced the couple into the trunk and drove for several hours, stopping at ATMs to withdraw money and trying to pawn the woman’s wedding ring, according to prosecutors. Both victims were shot in the head and placed in the trunk of the car, which was set on fire.

Christopher Vialva

Christopher Vialva

Vialva was executed last month at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute.

The resumption of federal executions began on July 14, with the execution of former white supremacist Daniel Lewis Lee. Since then, six other people have been sentenced to death and another man, Orlando Hall, is due to be executed next month. Anti-death penalty groups say President Donald Trump is pushing for executions during the campaign season in an attempt to polish the reputation of leader of law and order.

Before executions resumed this summer, federal authorities had executed only three prisoners in the past 56 years.