In the United States, a court temporarily suspended the execution of the first death sentence against a woman in 70 years. Lisa Montgomery, 52, who was sentenced to death for the gruesome murder of a pregnant woman, will not be executed as scheduled on Tuesday, a court in the state of Indiana said on Monday. Judge James Hanlon justified the delay with the poor mental state of the 52-year-olds imprisoned in Indiana.
The reports before the court showed, according to Hanlon, that Montgomery, who was born with a damaged brain, is currently “mentally far from reality”. This makes execution impossible, as perpetrators must be able to understand the reason for a death sentence. However, both the government and the public have an interest in the timely execution of executions, Hanlon said. The court will quickly discuss how to proceed.
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Montgomery’s lawyers also asked US President Donald Trump for mercy last week. They asked for the death sentence to be converted to life imprisonment. The 52-year-old’s lawyers argued in their letter to the outgoing president that their client was seriously mentally ill at the time of the crime in 2004.
Montgomery had strangled a heavily pregnant woman and then cut the baby out of her belly. The execution of the death sentence would be the first execution of a woman by the US federal justice system since 1953. Trump, who will leave office on Wednesday next week, is a proponent of the death penalty.
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Montgomery was arrested the day after the crime at her home in Skidmore, Missouri, around 250 kilometers from the crime scene. She had the kidnapped baby who survived the gruesome act with her. Before she confessed, she told the police and her husband that she gave birth to the girl herself.
Montgomery was sentenced to death in 2007. The US Department of Justice ruled in her case, as well as twelve other death row inmates in federal prisons, last year that executions should be carried out. Previously, executions by federal justice had been suspended for 17 years. (AFP)