U.S. Schedules The First Execution Of A Woman Since The 1950s

On Friday, the Justice Department announced two more death row inmates would be put to death this year by the U.S. government, including the first woman since the 1950s.

According to the Justice Department, the only woman on federal death row, Lisa Montgomery, is scheduled to die by lethal injection on December 8, CNN reports. She was convicted in 2004 for the strangling death of a pregnant Missouri woman who was eight months pregnant, cutting out, and kidnapping the baby.

This will be the eighth execution carried out this year by the federal government after a 17-year-long gap. The ninth is scheduled for December 10, when Brandon Bernard will be put to death by lethal injection for the killing of two youth ministers on a military reservation in 1999.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons announced last year that it would be using a single-drug protocol in lethal injections instead of the three-drug protocol previously used. The Trump administration ended the 17-year hiatus on federal executions in July.

The last woman executed by the federal government was Bonnie Brown Heady. She was put to death for kidnapping and murder on December 18, 1953. Earlier that same year, Ethel Rosenberg and her husband, Julius, were executed for espionage.

Montgomery’s attorney, Kelly Henry, said that her client should not be executed because she is mentally ill and suffered child abuse.

“Lisa Montgomery has long accepted full responsibility for her crime, and she will never leave prison,” Henry said in a statement, according to NBC News. “But her severe mental illness and the devastating impacts of her childhood trauma make executing her a profound injustice.”

Bernard’s attorney, Robert Owen, said that his client was 18 at the time of the murders and had no violent record and that he is a victim of false testimony at his trial.

Lisa Montgomery
Lisa Montgomery Mugshot

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