Another delay could push the execution of Lisa Montgomery into the administration of President-elect Joseph R Biden Jrwho said he opposed the death penalty

A decision by a federal judge to delay the execution of the only woman on federal death row could postpone the new date to the early days of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr’s administrationwho said he was working to end the federal death penalty

Ms. Lisa Montgomery was scheduled to be executed on December 8, but that date was postponed after two of her lawyers tested positive for the coronavirus shortly after traveling to a Texas federal prison to visit her in November. p>

Should Ms. Montgomery’s life be spared the series of delays caused by the infection of her lawyers It would be a rare relief to a prisoner from a virus that has swept through prisons and infects inmates crammed into common rooms

However, if the Justice Department appeals the decision, a higher court would most likely overturn it.Since the Supreme Court paved the way for federal executions in June after a 17-year hiatus, the court has had motions from federal inmates whose Execution aimed at mercy, largely disregarded

The Justice Department had postponed her execution for Jan 12, but Judge Randolph D Moss of the US. The District of Columbia District Court ruled Thursday that the January execution date had been illegally postponed as a residency warrant issued because of her lawyers’ illness was still in effect

Ms. Montgomery of Melvern, Kan was convicted in 2008 of killing Bobbie Jo Stinnett, 23 years old and eight months pregnant, and of having a baby cut from her belly

She attempted to pass Ms. Stinnett’s baby on as her own before admitting the crime. A jury convicted her of kidnapping that resulted in death in federal court in Missouri

Ms. Montgomery attorneys said she suffered from a serious mental illness inherited from both parents and made worse by abuse she endured as a child, including sex trafficking with her mother and rape by men. p>

Federal regulations require prisoners to receive execution notices at least 20 days in advance. However, if the rescheduled date is less than 20 days after the original date, the prisoner only needs to be notified “as soon as possible”

The stay in Ms. Montgomery’s case prevented the government from executing her before December 31 How long the government will wait for her execution after that date remains unclear. Once Mr. Biden will be on Jan sworn in 20, the chances of Mrs. Montgomery’s execution becoming increasingly unlikely

Mr. Biden’s representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether he would intervene in Ms. Montgomery’s case should her execution fall within his jurisdiction A spokesman for the President-Elect told The Associated Press that Mr. Biden “is now opposed to the death penalty and in the future from ”

If Ms. Montgomery is executed, it would be the first federal execution of a woman since 1953, when Bonnie Heady was killed in a gas chamber for the kidnapping and murder of a 6-year-old boy in Kansas City, Mo. The Trump administration took in the July for the first time since 2003 the federal executions resumed

It would be “legally questionable” to execute Mrs. Montgomery before Jan 20, said Robert Dunham, executive director of the Washington Death Penalty Information Center

Due to the Trump administration’s legal strategy of “forcing the courts to rule without proper review,” said Mr. Dunham said, “It is unclear what this government will try now”

The logistical challenges of executions could also face Dr Montgomery’s execution continues in Mr. Biden’s Presidency She had to travel from Texas to the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Ind Flown to face the death penalty Executions also require a crew of dozens of workers, which is why Ms. Montgomery’s death was scheduled for the same week as two other inmates on death row
The coronavirus has also introduced new problems for federal executions.There was an outbreak at the Terre Haute Complex in which at least 14 of the roughly 50 men on death row tested positive The Justice Department faces a lawsuit from inmates at the Federal Correctional Complex opposite, which claims the executions that bring workers, witnesses, lawyers and media personnel to the center could expose them to the virus

Ms. Montgomery has not tested positive for the coronavirus The two inmates to be executed the same week as their January date – Corey Johnson and Dustin John Higgs – tested positive for the virus, their lawyers are trying to get their executions because of their To delay infections

Sandra Babcock, one of Mrs. Montgomery’s attorneys, turned to President Trump for help and in a Christmas Eve statement requesting that he “show her mercy and commute her sentence to life imprisonment.”

Mr Trump announced a series of pardons and commutations this week, pardoning 41 people and commuting sentences from eight others in just two days.He granted pardon to two men who pleaded guilty in the Special Representative’s Russia investigation on Tuesday four former US. Members of the service convicted of murdering Iraqi civilians; and three former members of Congress

On Wednesday, Mr. Trump pardoned Charles Kushner, the father of the President’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is also an advisor to Mr. Trump and two men – Paul Manafort and Roger J. Stone Jr – who had refused to cooperate in the investigations of the special adviser

Given the recent pardons of “war criminals and corrupt politicians”, Mr Dunham said, “It would be an amazing statement if they carried out the execution of a seriously mentally ill and terribly abused woman”

Lisa Montgomery

World News – CA – Decision on a woman on death row puts her execution in doubt

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/25/us/lisa-montgomery-execution.html