The United States must execute a federal prisoner for the first time in nearly 70 years, the Department of Justice said on Friday.
Lisa Montgomery was convicted of strangling a pregnant woman before opening her body and abducting her baby in Missouri in 2004.
She is to be executed by a lethal injection federal correctional complex in Terre Haute, Indiana, on December 8.
The last woman executed by the US government was Bonnie Heady, who died in a gas chamber in Missouri in 1953, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.
The federal execution of Brandon Bernard, who participated in the murders of two youth ministers in 1999, is also slated for December.
US Attorney General William Barr called these crimes “particularly heinous murders”.
In December 2004, Montgomery drove from Kansas to the home of Bobbie Jo Stinnett, Missouri, allegedly to purchase a puppy, the Department of Justice said in a press release.
“Once inside the residence, Montgomery attacked and strangled Stinnett – who was eight months pregnant – until the victim lost consciousness,” the newspaper said.
“Using a kitchen knife, Montgomery then cut Stinnett’s abdomen, causing her to regain consciousness. A fight ensued and Montgomery strangled Stinnett to death. Montgomery then removed the baby from Stinnett’s body, took the baby with her, and attempted to pass it on. like his. ”
In 2007, a jury found Montgomery guilty of federal kidnapping resulting in death and unanimously recommended a death sentence. However, Montgomery’s lawyers say she suffered brain damage from beatings as a child and is mentally ill, so she should not be sentenced to death.
They also argued that she suffers from pseudocyesis, which leads a woman to mistakenly believe that she is pregnant and to show outward signs of pregnancy.
According to data collected by the Information Center on the Death Penalty, 78 people were sentenced to death in federal cases between 1988 and 2018, but only three were executed.
The executions of Montgomery and Bernard will be the eighth and ninth the federal government has carried out this year.
The Trump administration said last year it would resume federal executions after a long hiatus.
In a statement at the time, the attorney general said: