The execution of Lisa Montgomery, the only woman on federal death row, has been delayed a second time.
Montgomery, 52, got the death penalty in 2008 for killing a pregnant woman four years earlier and stealing her fetus. The baby survived.
Montgomery’s execution was initially scheduled for Dec. 8, but two of her attorneys contracted coronavirus.
The federal government tried to reschedule the execution for Jan. 12, but a judge ruled Thursday that date was in violation of court rules, The Associated Press reported.
U.S. District Court Judge Randolph Moss said the Bureau of Prisons couldn’t set a date for Montgomery’s death until Jan. 1, according to the AP.
Justice Department guidelines require executions to be scheduled 20 days in advance, meaning Montgomery’s could be set for Jan. 20. That would be the exact same day President-elect Joe Biden, who opposes the death penalty, will take office.
Montgomery was convicted of strangling Bobbie Jo Stinnett to death in the small town of Skidmore, Missouri, on Dec. 16, 2004. Montgomery then cut open the 23-year-old Stinnett’s stomach and stole her baby.
Attorneys for Montgomery argued she should not be eligible for the death penalty because she suffered from mental illnesses caused by childhood abuse.
President Donald Trump’s administration has executed 10 people since July, the most of any president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt, though Roosevelt’s executions took place over eight years instead of seven months.
Two more people, Cory Johnson and Dustin John Higgs, are scheduled to be executed prior to Biden’s inauguration.
Montgomery would be the first woman executed by the federal government since 1953.
The child Montgomery abducted is now 16 years old and lives with her father, Kansas City CBS affiliate KCTV reported.
© 2020 New York Daily News
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.