© Reuters.
© Reuters.

(Reuters) – A federal judge in Indiana late on Monday blocked the execution of convicted murderer Lisa Montgomery, the only woman on federal death row in the United States, on mental health grounds, based on evidence that she was unable to understand the government’s rationale for her execution.

Prosecutors have filed a notice to appeal the judge’s ruling, CNN reported https://cnn.it/3qgDX8D on Tuesday.

Separately, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit, also voted to stay the execution, pushing any new execution date into Joe Biden’s administration unless the Supreme Court intervenes.

Montgomery, who was due to be killed by lethal injection on Jan. 12, was convicted in 2007 in Missouri for kidnapping and strangling Bobbie Jo Stinnett, then eight months pregnant. Montgomery then cut Stinnett’s fetus from the womb. The child survived.

U.S. judge James Patrick Hanlon granted a stay of execution to allow the court to conduct a hearing to determine whether Montgomery is competent to be executed on mental health grounds, according to a court filing made in the U.S. district court of Southern District of Indiana.

Montgomery’s lawyer, Kelley Henry, welcomed the judge’s ruling and said the court was right to put a stop to her execution.

“Mrs Montgomery is mentally deteriorating and we are seeking an opportunity to prove her incompetence,” Henry said in a statement.

Montgomery’s lawyers have asked for U.S. President Donald Trump’s clemency, saying she committed her crime after a lifetime of being abused and raped. In a nearly 7,000-page clemency petition filed last week, they asked Trump to commute Montgomery’s sentence to life in prison.

The lawyers have said Montgomery admits her guilt but deserves clemency because she has long suffered severe mental illness, exacerbated by being gang raped by her stepfather and his friends during an abusive childhood.

Federal executions had been on pause for 17 years before Trump ordered them to resume last year.

In 2020, the U.S. government executed 10 people. It was the first time the federal government conducted more executions than all U.S. states combined, according https:// to a database compiled by the Death Penalty Information Center.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)