Lisa Montgomery execution: Woman who cut baby out of pregnant Missouri mother, Bobbie Jo Stinnett set to be first female to be executed in nearly 70 years. Capital punishment in America.
A death row inmate who killed a pregnant Missouri woman and stole the unborn baby by cutting it from the victim’s womb is scheduled to become the first female executed by the federal government in 70 years, the Justice Department announced Friday.
Lisa Montgomery, 43, who was found guilty of the December 2004 crime, is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Dec. 8 at US Penitentiary Terre Haute, Indiana, the DOJ said in a release.
Montgomery strangled Bobbie Jo Stinnett — who was eight months pregnant — until she lost consciousness, sliced open her body with a kitchen knife and stole the baby, passing it off as her own, the feds said.
Montgomery who was 36 at the time, tried passing off the infant girl off as her own child only to be arrested when relatives discovered Stinnett’s butchered body shortly after the expectant mother’s murder.
Jury takes less than 5 hours to vote for death row execution
Montgomery who had been faking pregnancy leading up to the murder confessed to murdering Stinnett and abducting her child, the feds said. Prosecutors told of Montgomery meeting her victim online under the pretense of wanting to buy a rat terrier.
During her trial, Montgomery’s defense team portrayed her as a victim of severe mental illness whose delusion of being pregnant was being threatened, causing her to enter a dreamlike state when the killing took place.
The defense also argued that Montgomery suffering post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by mental, physical and sexual abuse in her childhood.
The womb raider was found guilty in October 2007 of federal kidnapping resulting in death after prosecutors succeeded in convincing the jury the attack had been carefully planned and premeditated. Of note, it took the jury less than 5 hours to vote for a death row execution.
Miraculously, the victim’s baby, Victoria Jo, survived the attack and is now 16 years old.
Montgomery’s execution will mark the ninth federal one since they resumed in July, after the Trump administration began pushing ahead with executions ahead of the 2020 presidential race after a 17-year pause.
Responding to Montgomery’s upcoming execution, the death row’s attorney, Kelley Henry described the upcoming execution as ‘gross injustice.’
The politics of capital punishment
Told the lawyer, ‘Lisa Montgomery has long accepted full responsibility for her crime, and she will never leave prison. But her severe mental illness and the devastating impacts of her childhood trauma make executing her a profound injustice.’
Before this year, the federal government had not executed anyone since 2003, and just four people since the 1960, Bureau of Prisons records show, CNN reports.
The last woman to be executed by the federal government was Bonnie Heady. She was put to death in a gas chamber in Missouri in 1953, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.
Notes the nytimes: ‘Only around 2 percent of inmates on death row and 1 percent of those executed are women, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. In April, there were more than 50 women on state and federal death rows, according to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.’
Statistically, the violent crimes women commit are less likely to be considered for capital punishment than those committed by men, because of both the nature of the crimes and public perceptions of women, Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, said on Saturday.