US to carry out first federal execution of woman in nearly 70 years – National


The US Department of Justice announced Friday that it had scheduled the first federal execution of a woman in nearly 70 years, setting December 8 as the date for the killing of Lisa Montgomery, convicted of murder in 2004 .Montgomery, who was convicted of strangling a pregnant woman in Missouri, will be executed by lethal injection at the U.S. penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, the department said in a statement.

The last woman executed by the U.S. government was Bonnie Heady, who was put to death in a gas chamber in Missouri in 1953, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

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On Friday, the Justice Department also scheduled a December 10 execution of Brandon Bernard, who along with his accomplices murdered two youth ministers in 1999.

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The two executions will be the eighth and ninth that the federal government will have carried out in 2020.

The Trump administration ended a 17-year informal hiatus in federal executions in July, after announcing last year that the Bureau of Prisons was moving to a new single-drug protocol for lethal injections, from a combination of three drugs that he last used in 2003..

Click to watch the video 'California stops death penalty executions'

California Ends Death Penalty Executions

California Ends Death Penalty Executions

The new protocol reignited longstanding legal challenges to lethal injections. In August, a federal judge in Washington, DC ruled that the Justice Department was in violation of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act by failing to seek a medical prescription to administer the highly regulated barbiturate.

But an appeals court ruled that the violation did not in itself constitute “irreparable harm” and allowed federal executions to continue.

In 2007, a US District Court in the Western Missouri District sentenced Montgomery to death after convicting her of a federal kidnapping resulting in death.

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Bernard’s attorney, Robert Owen, said in a statement that the federal government misled the US District Court jury for the Western District of Texas, who in 2000 found Bernard guilty of murder. His decision was marred by false testimony, Owen said.

“This evidence confirms that Mr. Bernard is just not one of the ‘worst of the worst’ offenders to whom we reserve the death penalty, and that sparing his life would pose no risk to anyone,” said Owen .

(Reporting by Mohammad Zargham and Brendan O’Brien; Editing by Sandra Maler and Bill Tarrant)


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