The U.S. government has carried out its first execution of a female inmate in nearly 70 years.
Lisa Montgomery was put to death early Wednesday at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.
A series of legal challenges seeking to stop the execution ended with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling late Tuesday it could go forward.
Montgomery was convicted in 2007 for strangling a pregnant woman and cutting the baby from her womb. Montgomery took the baby and tried to pass it off as her own.
Her legal team argued she suffered from “sexual torture,” including gang rapes, as a child, permanently scarring her emotionally and exacerbating mental-health issues that ran in her family.
Lawyer Kelley Henry said in a statement the decision to execute Montgomery was a “vicious, unlawful, and unnecessary exercise of authoritarian power.”
“The craven bloodlust of a failed administration was on full display tonight,” Henry said. “Everyone who participated in the execution of Lisa Montgomery should feel shame.”
The U.S. Justice Department said the execution was “in accordance with the capital sentence unanimously recommended by a federal jury and imposed by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.”
Montgomery is the 11th federal prisoner to be executed since July when President Donald Trump resumed federal executions after a 17-year break.
There were two more executions scheduled to take place later this week, just before the end of Trump’s term, but a federal judge in Washington halted them after both of the inmates tested positive for COVID-19.
Voice of America – English