US, first federal death sentence of a woman carried out (since 1953)

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In the United States, the first death sentence of 2021 was carried out on Wednesday 13 January. It is also the first federal death sentence of a woman since 1953. It is that of Lisa Montgomery, 52, accused and convicted of killing a pregnant woman and removing her eight-month-old fetus in 2004.

Another 12 death sentences are expected in the United States for 2021. Lisa Montogmery’s had been suspended by District Judge Patrick Hanlon pending the Supreme Court’s decision on a request for referral presented by Montgomery’s lawyers based on the need to verify the mental health of the woman.

Seven days fromsettlement of Joe Biden, the many associations and people who in recent weeks had mobilized to ensure that Lisa Montgomery’s life was spared, hoped that the execution could be postponed to after the swearing in of the new American president, who has pledged to work for the death penalty to be abolished.

Federal executions resumed in the United States after 17 years last July after former President Donald Trump decided to start executing again. Ten federal convictions have since taken place. Before Lisa Montgomery, it was the turn of Bonnie Heady in Missouri, in 1953. Seventy years ago. At the state level, the last execution of a woman was that of Kelly Gissendaner in 2015. She was convicted of murder in 1997 after killing her husband with the complicity of her lover.

Lisa Montgomery’s fatal injection took place at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana. According to Amnesty International in its annual report today, more than two thirds of the countries the world has abolished the death penalty by law or in practice. In 2019, they were executed at least 657 people in 20 countries, a decrease in the 5% compared to 2018 (at least 690). The figure represents the lowest number of executions recorded by Amnesty International over the past ten years. Most of the death sentences were carried out in order in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Egypt.

«Since 1973 they have been in the US 167 prisoners released after new evidence of their innocence emerged, ”explains Amnesty International. “Some of these have come close to execution after spending many years on death row.”

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