The United States carried out the first federal execution of a woman in nearly 70 years on Wednesday January 13, which will be one of the last acts of Donald Trump’s presidency. “Lisa Montgomery, 52, was executed in the federal penitentiary in Terre-Haute” in Indiana, the Justice Department said in a statement. His death was declared at 01:31 (7:31 in Paris).
The Supreme Court had previously given the green light to the execution during the night, rejecting the final appeals of the convict’s lawyers despite the disagreement of three progressive magistrates.
In 2004, Lisa Montgomery killed an eight-month-pregnant woman in order to steal her fetus. Unable to have a new child, she spotted her victim, a dog breeder, on the internet and came to her home in Missouri under the pretext of buying him a terrier. There, she had strangled her, had opened her womb, had taken the baby – who survived – before giving up in a pool of blood.
Without denying the gravity of her crime, her lawyers had stressed that she suffered from severe mental disorders, consequences of violence and gang rape suffered in her childhood. She was sentenced to death in 2007 in Missouri.
Monday evening, a federal judge had ordered to suspend his execution, the time to assess his mental state. “Mrs. Montgomery is so far removed from reality that she cannot rationally understand the administration’s motive for her execution”, had estimated the judge.
An appeal court, seized by the Department of Justice, however, annulled this decision on Tuesday and the Supreme Court, profoundly changed by Donald Trump, validated its decision. The temple of American law, which had been seized of two other separate appeals, each time ruled in favor of the government lawyers.
The last federal executions of women date back to 1953, those of Bonnie Brown Heady for kidnapping and murder and of Ethel Rosenberg the same year for espionage, the US media recalled.
A strong supporter of capital punishment, like his most conservative voters, Donald Trump has also ignored a request for clemency sent by the supporters of Lisa Montgomery. Lisa Montgomery’s attorney, Kelley Henry, called the new execution a “vicious”, mentioning in a press release “the thirst for blood of a bankrupt administration”.