More than 1,000 advocates have sent letters to Trump urging him to stop the December execution of Lisa Montgomery (pictured)
More than 1,000 advocates have sent letters to President Donald Trump urging him to stop the December execution of a woman convicted in 2007 of fatally strangling a pregnant woman, cutting her body open and kidnapping her baby.
Lisa Montgomery is scheduled to be the first female inmate put to death by the US government in more than six decades, according to the Justice Department.
Officials said her execution date has been set for December 8 when she is expected to given a lethal injection at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Montgomery was convicted of killing 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett in the northwest Missouri town of Skidmore in December 2004.
Despite her gruesome crimes, advocates are asking that her life be spared.
They want Trump to commute Montgomery’s sentence to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
According to the advocates, Montgomery should not be put to death because she has severe mental illness, endured sexual abuse as a child and was trafficked as a teenager.
In one letter obtained by Newsweek, 41 lawyers wrote: ‘Lisa’s experiences as a victim of horrific sexual violence, physical abuse, and being trafficked as a child do not excuse her crime.
Montgomery (left) was convicted of killing 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett (right) in the northwest Missouri town of Skidmore in December 2004
According to the advocates, Montgomery should not be put to death because she has severe mental illness, endured sexual abuse as a child and was trafficked as a teenager. Stinnett’s body was found at this home on December 17, 2004
‘But her history provides us with an important explanation that would influence any sentencing recommendation we made as prosecutors.’
Two former district attorneys also wrote a letter, saying: ‘We know from first-hand experience that these crimes are inevitably the product of serious mental illness.
‘Women who commit such crimes also are likely to have been victimized themselves. These are important factors that make death sentences inappropriate.’
In addition to letters from the attorneys, about 800 organizations, individuals and survivors said Montgomery had suffered ‘a lifetime of horrific abuses’.
According to Newsweek, the letter said that Montgomery ‘developed a dissociative disorder and complex post-traumatic stress disorder’ from the abuse and ‘was consistently failed by people and systems that should have helped her’.
Advocates believe that the ‘relentless physical, psychological and sexual abuse’ Montgomery suffered throughout her childhood ‘severed her connection to reality.’
‘President Trump, we know the decision whether to commute a death sentence is difficult, but in Lisa Montgomery’s case, it is the right one,’ the letter reads.
According to Newsweek, Montgomery sexually abused by her stepfather, who also allowed friends to gang-rape her.
Montgomery used a rope to strangle Stinnett. Montgomery then used a kitchen knife to cut the baby girl (pictured) from the womb
As a teenager she was trafficked to men by her mother.
If Montgomery is put to death, she would be the ninth federal inmate to be executed since the Justice Department resumed executions in July after a nearly 20-year hiatus.
In 2004, Montgomery drove from her Kansas home to Stinnett’s house in Skidmore under the guise of adopting a rat terrier puppy, prosecutors said.
When she arrived at the home, Montgomery used a rope to strangle Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant.
Stinnett was conscious and trying to defend herself as Montgomery used a kitchen knife to cut the baby girl from the womb, authorities said.
Prosecutors said Montgomery removed the baby from Stinnett’s body, took the child with her, and attempted to pass the girl off as her own.
Montgomery’s lawyers argued that she had been suffering from delusions when she killed Stinnett, but a jury rejected her defense.
Another letter said Montgomery ‘developed a dissociative disorder and complex post-traumatic stress disorder’ from being raped and abused as a young girl. Montgomery was arrested at this home shortly after killing Stinnett in 2004
Her lawyers had also argued that she was suffering from pseudocyesis, which causes a woman to falsely believe she is pregnant and exhibit outward signs of pregnancy.
The Justice Department has also scheduled the execution of a man convicted in the 1999 killing of two youth ministers in Texas. Brandon Bernard, 40, is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on December 10.
The resumption of federal executions started July 14, with the execution of white supremacist Daniel Lewis Lee.
Since then, six others have been put to death and another man, Orlando Hall, is scheduled to be executed on November 19.
Before the resumptions of executions this summer, federal authorities had executed just three prisoners in the previous 56 years.
Source: Daily Mail