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U.S. schedules first execution of a woman in nearly 70 years

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A date has been set for the execution of a Kansas woman who was convicted of killing a pregnant woman and cutting the baby from …
A date has been set for the execution of a Kansas woman who was convicted of killing a pregnant woman and cutting the baby from her abdomen in what would be the first federal execution of a woman in nearly 70 years, officials said Friday. The inmate, Lisa Montgomery of Melvern, Kansas, was convicted of kidnapping resulting in death by a jury in federal court in Missouri in 2008. Her death, by lethal injection, is scheduled for Dec.8 at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana. Federal executions have not taken place in nearly 20 years, but Montgomery’s would be the ninth federal execution since they resumed in July. In 2004, Montgomery told her friends and family that she was pregnant, despite having undergone a sterilization procedure years earlier, according to court documents. In December of that year, she contacted Bobbie Jo Stinnett, who was 23 and eight months pregnant, under the guise of wanting to buy a rat terrier puppy from a litter that Stinnett had advertised online, court records show. Montgomery, who was 36 at the time, drove to Stinnett’s home in northwestern Missouri, where she strangled her to death and cut the baby girl from her abdomen. Montgomery then went home and attempted to pass the baby off as her own. Montgomery, who confessed to the crime, lost all attempts to appeal her conviction and sentence, according to the Department of Justice. Kelley Henry, an assistant federal public defender representing Montgomery, said in a statement Friday that Montgomery has accepted responsibility for her crime, “but her severe mental illness and the devastating impacts of her childhood trauma make executing her a profound injustice.” Henry said that abuses Montgomery endured as a child, including being sex-trafficked by her mother and gang-raped by adult men, “exacerbated a genetic predisposition to mental illness inherited from both sides of her family,” including complex post-traumatic stress disorder.

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