(TheLibertyRevolution.com)- The federal execution of Lisa Montgomery will be put on hold for now.
Judge Randolph Moss of the U.S. District Court ruled that the Department of Justice rescheduled the execution of Montgomery, the only woman who is on federal death row, in an unlawful manner. In doing so, Moss also vacated an order from the Bureau of Prisons’ director that set her execution date for January 12.
Originally, Montgomery was set to be executed in December at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana. That execution was delayed after Montgomery’s legal representation contracted coronavirus while visiting a client. They then filed a petition asking Moss to extend the time for which they could file a petition for clemency.
In a previous ruling, Moss blocked the Bureau of Prisons from executing Montgomery before the end of 2020. Her execution was then rescheduled for January 12. But Moss’ most recent ruling said they aren’t allowed to setting an execution date while the stay is in place.
In his ruling, Moss wrote:
“The Court, accordingly, concludes that the Director’s order setting a new execution date while the Court’s stay was in effect was ‘not in accordance with law.'”
This sets up what could be a potentially sticking situation.
DOJ guidelines states that death row inmates have to be notified at least 20 days before their execution. Since Moss’ order prohibits Montgomery’s execution to be scheduled until 2021, it could be scheduled for after Democrat Joe Biden is inaugurated as president.
If the DOJ follows its rules, then the earliest Montgomery could be scheduled for execution would be January 21 — 20 days after the first of the year.
As TJ Ducklo, a spokesman for Biden, has said, Biden “opposes the death penalty now and in the future.” He said the Democrat would work while in the White House to end the practice of federal executions.
In December 2004, Montgomery was convicted in the killing of Bobbie Jo Stinnett, who was 23 years old at the time of her death. The incident occurred in Skidmore, Missouri.
According to authorities, Montgomery used a rope to strangle Stinnett, who was pregnant at the time. After that, she then cut Stinnett’s baby girl out of the womb using a kitchen knife.
Prosecutors in the case say Montgomery not only took the baby from Stinnett’s body, but took the child with her, attempting to pass her off as her own.
The legal team for Montgomery argued in court that she suffers from various severe mental illnesses.
In a statement, one of her lawyers, Sandra Babcock, said:
“Given the severity of Mrs. Montgomery’s mental illness, the sexual and physical torture she endured throughout her life, and the connection between her trauma and the facts of her crime, we appeal to President Trump to grant her mercy, and commute her sentence to life imprisonment.”
There are two other inmates in federal prison who are slated to be executed in January. Both have contracted coronavirus, though, and their legal representation is seeking to delay the executions.