A US court has postponed the first execution of a woman sentenced to capital punishment at the federal level in 70 years after her lawyers contracted the coronavirus while visiting a prison, according to NBC.
Convicted 52-year-old Lisa Montgomery was convicted of the particularly brutal murder of a pregnant woman in 2004. In the United States, women convicted at the federal level have not been executed for 70 years.
Earlier it was planned that the sentence would be carried out on December 8 in Indiana by lethal injection.
District Judge Randolph Moss blocked the execution until the end of the year to give the woman’s lawyers “time to recover from their illness” and to prepare a petition for commutation of the US president’s sentence.
In July, the US Supreme Court ruled that the first executions in 17 years in US federal prisons could be carried out, overturning the delay previously ordered by the lower court.
The reinstatement of the federal death penalty has symbolic implications for the United States, where the vast majority of executions take place in the jurisdiction of individual states rather than federal authorities.
In September, it was reported that the US government executed the first African American after lifting the moratorium on the death penalty at the federal level. That was Christopher Vialva, who was sentenced to death for the 1999 murder of a young married Christian activist couple in Texas.