UPDATED 1:40 PM PT – Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Federal authorities recently executed a convicted murderer, which marked the first time a female prisoner has been put to death by the government since 1953.
On Wednesday, Lisa Montgomery was pronounced dead after receiving a lethal injection at a prison in Indiana. This came after the U.S. Supreme Court denied a last-ditch effort by her defense attorneys, who argued she was suffering from a “severe mental illness.”
However, a federal court of appeals noted Montgomery’s lawyers used outdated information about her mental health. Experts most recently assessed Montgomery five years ago.
The 52-year-old was convicted in 2007 of strangling a pregnant woman to death and cutting the baby out of her womb. The child was able to survive the deadly incident.
Earlier this month, her attorneys attempted to attain clemency for Montgomery. They said she was the only woman to have committed this type of crime and face capital punishment. Her lawyers claimed Montgomery should receive a sentence of life in prison instead.
“One of the things that can be considered is proportionality and we know that Mrs. Montgomery is the only person who has committed this sort of crime to be facing execution,” defense attorney Kelley Henry stated. “And that is because other prosecutors recognize that women who commit these crimes typically have a very serious history of mental illness and trauma, as Lisa does.”
Her lawyers also said she was abused throughout her childhood and was repeatedly raped as well as tortured by her step-father and his friends.
Meanwhile, reports stated the victim’s relatives traveled to Indiana to witness the execution.