Death row ‘Womb raider’ Lisa Montgomery executed after US Supreme Court U-turn

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Lisa Montgomery has died after the Supreme Court backed her execution and cleared all remaining legal barriers to her death.

The Supreme Court removed a legal barrier in a new order allowing the lethal injection of Lisa Montgomery, the only woman on death row.

On Tuesday a federal judge granted the 'Womb Raider' killer a stay of execution, pending a competency hearing, on mental health grounds.

His decision was based on Montgomery’s mental capability as her attorney says she does not understand the government’s reasons for execution.

But the delay was quickly overruled overnight by the US Supreme Court, according to reports, and she was pronounced dead around 1.30am (6.30am GMT).

Montgomery, 52, murdered a pregnant woman before cutting her unborn baby out of her womb and kidnapping her.

She received the death sentence for killing 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett in Missouri, US in December 2004.

Montgomery, the only woman who was on federal death row, was the first woman executed since 1953.

She received a lethal injection at Terre Haute prison in Indiana – the only federal jail with an active death chamber – and was pronounced dead in the early hours.

Her execution could be one of the last, as President elect Joe Biden has denounced the death penalty publicly.

  • 'Womb raider' killer to be first woman executed in nearly 70 years with lethal injection

But it is not known whether he will halt federal executions when he takes office later this month.

Montgomery's lawyer, Kelley Henry, had called the execution "vicious, unlawful, and unnecessary exercise of authoritarian power."

Ms Henry said in a statement after her death: "The craven bloodlust of a failed administration was on full display tonight.

“Everyone who participated in the execution of Lisa Montgomery should feel shame.

“The government stopped at nothing in its zeal to kill this damaged and delusional woman. Lisa Montgomery’s execution was far from justice.”

  • 'Womb raider' killer's execution halted hours before lethal death row injection

She added that Montgomery suffered from mental illness that was "exacerbated by the lifetime of sexual torture she suffered at the hands of caretakers," and her lawyers sought a chance to prove her incompetence.

Montgomery strangled her victim – who was eight months pregnant – with a piece of rope before retrieving the unborn baby girl with a kitchen knife.

They had met on the internet before the killer drove more than a hundred miles from her home in Kansas to Skidmore to meet her in person.

Prosecutors said she kidnapped the baby and tried to pass her off as her own.

She was arrested the next day and convicted by a jury of murder.

Her execution comes in the final days of the Trump administration, having originally been set for December before delays.

Trump’s administration has put 10 people to death over the last seven months.

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