A federal inmate will be the first woman executed in the US in almost 70 years. Lisa Montgomery will be given a lethal injection in Indiana on 8 December. She drove from Kansas to the home of Bobbie Jo Stinnett, in Missouri, purportedly to purchase a puppy. Bobbie Jo Stinnett was eight months pregnant with her first child. She and her husband ran a dog-breeding business from their residence. She strangled the pregnant woman in Missouri before cutting out and kidnapping the baby in 2004. A jury found Montgomery guilty of federal kidnapping resulting in death, and unanimously recommended a death sentence., in 2007. Montgomery’s lawyers say she experienced brain damage from beatings as a child and is mentally unwell, so should not face the death penalty.
US Attorney General William Barr said the crimes were “especially heinous murders”. In state prisons, 16 women have been executed since a 1976 supreme court decision lifted a moratorium on the death penalty across the US. A 1976 Supreme Court decision allowed states to reinstate the death penalty and in 1988 the government passed legislation that made it available again at federal level. This case was described in the books, Baby Be Mine, by author Diane Fanning and Murder in the Heartland by M. William Phelps. It was also featured in an episode of the true crime series Deadly Women titled “Fatal Obsession”.