A woman will be executed by the United States government for the first time in almost 70 years, the Department of Justice announced Friday.
The statement from the Justice Department revealed that a woman named Lisa Montgomery would be executed via lethal injection on December 8, 2020.
In 2008, Montgomery was convicted for killing a pregnant woman, Bobby Jo Stinnett, by carving out the baby inside the woman's womb and then started to pretend that it was her child. She was then sentenced to the death penalty and became the third woman in the federal prison system's death row, CBS reported.
Before Montgomery, records from the Federal Bureau of Prisons show that the last female to be executed by the federal government was Bonnie Brown Heady in 1953. Heady was given the death penalty after she was convicted of high-profile kidnapping and murder. Heady was killed via the gas chamber on December 18, 1953, in the Missouri State Penitentiary.
During the trial against Montgomery, the prosecution pointed out that the suspect's crime was premeditated. The accusations were then supported with Montgomery's internet searches, which included instructions on performing Caesarean Sections.
Meanwhile, the defense argued that Montgomery suffered from pseudocyesis, a condition in which a woman falsely believes that she is pregnant and starts to exhibit pregnancy signs. The defense claimed that Montgomery's internet searches were connected to her condition.
After both parties have rested their cases, the jurors then proceeded to convene for five hours. Following their deliberation, the jurors recommended a guilty verdict and that the severity of Montgomery's crime deserved the punishment of death, Yahoo! News reported.
In Friday's press release, which announced the execution, the DOJ described Montgomery's crime as a "premeditated murder-kidnap scheme."
The release further described the crime and stated that during the day of the murder, Montgomery drove from Kansas to the victim's home in Missouri and pretended that she was coming to buy a puppy. As she went inside Stinnett's house, the perpetrator attacked the pregnant woman, who was then in her 8th month, and waited until she was unconscious.
It also narrated how Montgomery took a kitchen knife and used it to cut into the victim's abdomen, prompting Stinnett to regain her consciousness. The victim then tried to fight Montgomery, but the latter strangled her to death. After this, Montgomery took the baby from the mother's womb and attempted to take it as her own child.
Moreover, the DOJ stated that Montgomery, later on, confessed to the crime.
Reinstating Capital Punishment
It can be recalled that in July, the Supreme Court, via divided votes, ruled that carrying out of capital punishment can be resumed by the federal government, for the first time in 17 years. Since the decision was given, seven people have already been executed by the Bureau of Corrections.
According to The Associated Press, following the resumption of carrying out capital punishment in July, Attorney General William Barr stated that it is the Justice Department's duty to push through with these punishments to give the victims and the communities a sense of closure.