Terre Haute prison in the United States, August 28, 2020. -

Michael Conroy / AP / SIPA

This will go down as one of the last acts of Donald Trump's presidency.

The United States on Wednesday in Indiana, the first federal execution of a woman in nearly 70 years, announced the United States Department of Justice.

Aged 52, she "was executed in the federal penitentiary of Terre-Haute", after the green light given by the Supreme Court of the United States on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday.

The High Court in fact refused at midnight final appeals filed by lawyers for Lisa Montgomery, despite the disagreement of its three progressive magistrates.

Facts from 2004

In 2004, she killed an eight-month-pregnant woman in order to steal her fetus.

Unable to have a new child, she spotted her victim, a dog breeder, on the Internet and came to her home in Missouri under the pretext of buying her a terrier.

There, she had strangled her, had opened her uterus, had taken the baby - who survived, before abandoning it in a pool of blood.

Without denying the seriousness of her crime, her lawyers stressed that she suffered from severe mental disorders, consequences of violence and gang rape suffered in her childhood.

Monday evening, a federal judge had ordered to suspend his execution, the time to assess his mental state.

“Ms. Montgomery is so far removed from reality that she cannot rationally understand the administration's motive for her execution,” Judge Patrick Hanlon said.

Federal executions revived under Trump

An appeal court, seized by the Department of Justice, however, annulled this decision on Tuesday, and the Supreme Court, profoundly changed by Donald Trump, validated its decision.

A staunch supporter of capital punishment, like his most conservative voters, the Republican president has also ignored a request for clemency sent by the supporters of Lisa Montgomery.

Despite the decline in the death penalty in the United States and around the world, his administration resumed in July, after a 17-year hiatus, with federal executions and has chained them since at an unprecedented rate.

Ten Americans have received lethal injections in Terre-Haute since the summer and the Trump administration plans, in addition to Ms. Montgomery, to execute two men this week: Corey Johnson on Thursday and Dustin Higgs on Friday.

Probable new deal with Biden

Here again, a fierce legal battle is engaged.

A federal court decided on Tuesday to postpone their execution for several weeks on the grounds that they were contaminated by Covid-19.

Former prison guards have for their part asked the Ministry of Justice to postpone these executions "until prison staff are vaccinated" against this virus.

On the subject of capital punishment, things could evolve with Joe Biden.

The president-elect, who will be sworn in on Jan.20, is an opponent of the death penalty and has vowed to work with Congress to ban it at the federal level.


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