TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (KSNT) – A Kansas woman set to be the first one federally executed in six decades has arrived Tuesday morning at the federal execution center, according to the Bureau of Prisons.
Lisa Montgomery, who was due to be killed by lethal injection on Jan. 12, was convicted in 2007 in Missouri for kidnapping and strangling Bobbie Jo Stinnett, then eight months pregnant. Montgomery then cut Stinnett’s fetus from the womb. The child survived.
The Bureau of Prisons confirmed Montgomery is alive in the Terre Haute federal execution facility.
“Lisa Montgomery is currently alive and is at the Terre Haute execution facility,” said Scott Taylor, spokesperson for the Bureau of Prisons.
The execution is uncertain for Montgomery, from Melvern, Kan., who was scheduled to be executed on January 12, 2021, at the United States Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Ind.
Montgomery is the only woman on federal death row in the United States.
Montgomery’s legal team has filed a petition to halt her execution until a competency hearing can happen, which has been granted. They allege she is not fit for federal execution under federal law.
The petition reads: “Under Ford v. Wainwright, 477 U.S. 399 (1986), and its progeny, “[t]he Eighth Amendment…prohibits the execution of a prisoner whose mental illness prevents [her] from ‘rationally understanding’ why the State seeks to impose that punishment.”
U.S. judge James Patrick Hanlon granted a stay of execution to allow the court to conduct a hearing to determine whether she is competent to be executed, according to a court filing made in the U.S. district court of Southern District of Indiana.
The Court will set a time and date for the hearing in a separate order.
Montgomery’s lawyers have asked for U.S. President Donald Trump’s clemency, saying she committed her crime after a lifetime of being abused and raped. In a nearly 7,000-page clemency petition filed last week, they asked Trump to commute Montgomery’s sentence to life in prison.
The lawyers have said Montgomery admits her guilt but deserves clemency because she has long suffered severe mental illness, exacerbated by being gang raped by her stepfather and his friends during an abusive childhood.
To read the full petition, click here.