Kansas.- A federal judge suspended the first execution of a woman in U.S in nearly seven decades, saying that a court must first determine whether the woman of Kansas who killed a pregnant mother, took the baby out of her womb, and posed as her own in 2004.
The order, issued less than 24 hours before Lisa Montgomery was executed Tuesday in federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, temporarily suspended the execution. The Justice Department did not immediately comment.
The lawyers of Montgomery They say that their client suffers from hallucinations —even hearing the voice of her abusive mother—, a disoriented sense of reality and gaps in her consciousness. Lawyers have long argued that the woman cannot be executed because she does not do things consciously because she suffers from a serious mental illness and faced years of emotional and sexual abuse as a child.
Federal Judge James Patrick Hanlon concluded that the court must first hold a hearing to determine whether Montgomery satisfies the legal criterion of mental competence before execution can proceed. The judge said that she would be “irreparably harmed if the government executes her and that she is not competent to be executed.”
Kelley Henry, one of the defense attorneys, praised the ruling and said her client “is mentally deteriorating.”
“Mrs Montgomery She has brain damage and severe mental illness that were exacerbated by a lifetime of sexual torture suffered at the hands of those who had her under their care, ”Henry said.
Separately, the federal appeals court in Columbia issued another stay of execution in a case related to the Justice Department’s execution protocols and said that arguments must be filed by January 29, creating the possibility that the execution it was postponed until after President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20.
Biden has said he opposes the death penalty and a spokesman for him has said that as president he would suspend its use.