A judge on Monday granted a reprieve to an American who was to become the first woman to be executed by federal authorities in 70 years on Tuesday.
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Detained in a federal penitentiary in Terre-Haute, Indiana, Lisa Montgomery, 52, was to receive a lethal injection on Tuesday evening, 16 years after killing a pregnant woman in order to steal her fetus.
But Judge James Hanlon of the Southern District of Indiana on Monday ordered a stay of his execution.
The convict’s lawyers argued that Lisa Montgomery was not in a mental state compatible with her execution. She suffers from mental disorders due to gang rape and violence suffered as a child.
“The information presented to the court contains ample evidence that Ms Montgomery’s current mental state is so far removed from reality that she cannot rationally understand the government’s motive for her execution,” the judge wrote in his ruling. .
Judge Hanlon said the court would set a date for a subsequent hearing to assess Lisa Montgomery’s mental state.
In 2004, unable to have a new child, Lisa Montgomery spotted her victim, a dog breeder, on the internet, and came to her home in Missouri under the pretext of buying her a terrier.
She then strangled her, opened her uterus and took the baby, who survived.
She was sentenced to death in 2007. If executed, she would be the first woman executed by US federal authorities since 1953.
His lawyers last week sent a request for leniency to President Donald Trump, who has so far failed to act on their request.