A federal appeals court has cleared the way for the only woman on the federal death row to be executed before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
The ruling, announced Friday by a panel of three judges at the District Court of Columbia District Court of Appeal, concluded that a lower court judge erred in leaving Lisa Montgomery’s execution date in an order last week.
U.S. District Court Judge Randolph Moss had ruled that the Department of Justice was relocating Montgomery’s execution illegally and he left an order from the director of the Bureau of Prisons planning her death on January 12.
Montgomery was scheduled to be killed at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana, in December, but Moss delayed the execution after her lawyers received coronavirus that visited her client and asked him to extend the time to file a plea.
Moss concluded that, according to his order, the prison bureau could not even relocate Montgomery’s execution until at least January 1.
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Meaghan VerGow, a lawyer for Montgomery, said her legal team would ask the entire Court of Appeals to look into the matter and said Montgomery should not be executed on January 12.
Montgomery was convicted of killing 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett in northwestern Missouri, Skidmore, in December 2004. She used a rope to strangle Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant, and then cut the girl from the womb with a kitchen knife. said the authorities. Montgomery took the child with him and tried to transfer the girl as his own, prosecutors said.
Montgomery’s lawyers have claimed that their client suffers from serious mental illness. opposes the death penalty and his spokesman, TJ Ducklo, has said he would work to end its use. But Biden has not said whether he will stop federal executions after taking office on January 20.