WASHINGTON – A federal judge said the Justice Department unlawfully reconsidered the execution of the only woman in federal death row, possibly establishing the Trump administration after President-Elect Joe Biden took office.
US District Court Judge Randolph Moss also rescinded an order from the director of prisons that set Lisa Montgomery’s January 12 execution date. Montgomery was first stabbed to death at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terror Haute, Indiana. , This month, but Moss delayed the execution after his lawyer contracted Coronavirus to his client and asked him to increase the amount of time to file a pardon petition.
Moss blocked the prison administration from imposing the hanging of Lisa Montgomery before the end of the year, and authorities re-released her hanging date on 12 January. But Moss ruled Wednesday that the agency was barred from putting the date on hold while in a spot. .
Moss wrote, “The court, accordingly, concludes that the director’s order sets a new execution date, while the court’s stay ‘was not in accordance with the law.”
A Department of Justice spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Under the order, the Bureau of Prisons cannot reschedule Montgomery’s execution until at least 1 January. 1. Usually, according to Justice Department guidelines, a prisoner with the death penalty must be informed at least 20 days before hanging. Due to the judge’s order, if the Department of Justice wants to reschedule the date in January, it could mean that the execution will be scheduled after Biden’s opening on 20 January.
A spokesman for Biden told The Associated Press about the presidential-election “opposes capital punishment now and in the future” and will work to end its use in office as president. But Biden’s representatives have not said whether the execution will be halted immediately after Biden takes over.
Montegomery was convicted in December 2004 of the murder of 23-year-old Bobby Joe Stinnett in the northwest Missouri city of Skidmore. She used a rope to strangle the eight-month-old pregnant stenet, and then a kitchen knife to cut the baby womb, authorities said.
Prosecutors said Montgomery expelled the child from Stinnett’s body, took the child with him and attempted to pass the girl over to him. Montgomery’s legal team has argued that his client is suffering from serious mental illnesses.
“Seeing the connection between Mrs. Montgomery’s severity of mental illness, the sexual and physical torture she endured throughout her life, and the trauma and the facts of her crime, we appeal to President Trump to accept her kindness, and Appreciate his sentence. Life imprisonment, “Sandra Bebcock, one of Montgomery’s attorneys, said in a statement.
Two other federal prisoners are scheduled to be executed in January, but have tested positive for coronovirus and their attorneys are also seeking a delay in their execution.