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Feds to Execute a Woman for First Time Since 1953

Newser — Kate Seamons

There is a single woman on federal death row, and her execution date has now been scheduled. If Lisa Montgomery is put to death on Dec. 8 as planned, she'll be the first woman executed by the feds since 1953.

The New York Times reports the Kansas woman was convicted of strangling Bobbie Jo Stinnett in 2004 and cutting the baby from her body with a kitchen knife.

Stinnett, 23, was 8 months pregnant and had advertised a litter of puppies online; Montgomery responded to the ad and traveled to Stinnett's Missouri home. Montgomery, then 36, had told people she was pregnant and tried to pass the baby girl off as her child, though she had in fact undergone a sterilization procedure years prior.



An assistant federal public defender for Montgomery says that executing Montgomery would be a "profound injustice" due to her severe mental illness, which is tied to the horrors she endured as a child at the hands of her mother, who allegedly sex-trafficked Montgomery.

The BBC reports Montgomery's lawyers also say she has brain damage from being beaten as a child. The last federal execution of a woman came 67 years ago: The Guardian reports Bonnie Heady was in December 1953 put to death in a gas chamber for kidnapping the 6-year-old heir of an automobile tycoon from school in Kansas City, Mo., holding him for ransom, and killing him.

Only 16 women have been put to death in state prisons since 1976, most recently in 2015. As for Stinnett's daughter, she is now 16 and being raised by her father.

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