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Lisa Montgomery executed early Wednesday, first woman put to death in seven decades

(Attorneys for Lisa Montgomery via AP/ Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Department/Getty Images)
(Attorneys for Lisa Montgomery via AP/ Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Department/Getty Images)(Associated Press)
Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 11:19 PM CST
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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WIBW) - The U.S. government has carried out its first execution of a female inmate in nearly seven decades early Wednesday when authorities executed a Kansas woman who strangled an expectant mother in Missouri and cut the baby from her womb.

Lisa Montgomery was pronounced dead at 1:31 a.m. Wednesday after receiving a lethal injection at the federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Montgomery killed 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett in Skidmore, Missouri.

Montgomery was the 11th prisoner executed since July, when President Donald Trump resumed federal executions following 17 years without one.

President-elect Joe Biden, a death penalty opponent, will be sworn-in next week.

A federal judge on Tuesday halted two other executions scheduled for this week after the inmates tested positive for COVID-19.

The U.S. Supreme Court issued two new orders late Tuesday, vacating earlier stays and clearing the way for Lisa Montgomery’s execution.

The orders settled remaining appeals based on whether Montgomery was currently competent under the 8th Amendment, and whether the execution date had been appropriately rescheduled, according to law.

Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan would have granted the stay.

Montgomery had previously been moved to the federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Indiana, where the execution took place.

Her lawyers argued she was not mentally competent and should not be executed. They said she suffered from years of physical and emotional abuse and was severely mentally ill.

Montgomery was convicted of killing Stinnett in the northwest Missouri town of Skidmore in December 2004. She used a rope to strangle Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant, and then cut the baby girl from the womb with a kitchen knife, authorities said.

Montgomery took the child home with her to Melvern, a town in Osage County, Kansas, and attempted to pass the girl off as her own, prosecutors said.

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