WASHINGTON – A federal judge has temporarily put on hold the federal government’s plan to send first-in-laws of first-death deaths to prison in nearly six decades after its lawyers in prison contracted her with coronovirus.
An order handed down Thursday by US District Judge Randolph Moss in Washington barred the Federal Prison Bureau from serving the death sentence of Lisa Montgomery before the end of the year. He was scheduled to be killed on December 8 at the federal prison complex in Terre Hoot, Indiana.
Montgomery’s lawyers filed an apology petition on his behalf seeking to delay the execution. The attorneys, Kelly Henry and Amy Harwell, tested positive for Kovid-19 when they visited him in a Texas prison last month. In court papers, he said each round trip involved two flights, a stay at the hotel and interactions with airline and hotel staff, as well as prison staff.
Montgomery’s legal team has argued that his client is suffering from serious mental illnesses and cannot assist in filing his clemency petition, as all of his clothes have been stripped and he is only given a “sheet of paper and a single “Crayon” has been left in his cell, said attorney Sandra Babcock in court this week.
Bubbock said both Henry and Harwell have severe symptoms from the virus and are “functionally disabled” and thus unable to file an amnesty petition. Another lawyer cannot be assigned to file one because Montgomery’s mental condition has worsened since the Justice Department hanged him last month and he does not trust many lawyers, but Henry and Harwell have accompanied him. Has worked for years and gained her trust, Babcock argued.
In his ruling, Moss said that if the execution proceeded as scheduled, Montgomery would “lose its statutory right to have meaningful representation by counsel in the pardon process.” He said that lawyers should file clemency petitions by December 24 or bring other lawyers for assistance.
Babcock ruled the ruling as “a meaningful opportunity to present and present a pardon application after CODIAD has been cured by its attorneys.”
“Mrs. Montgomery’s case presents compelling grounds for pardon, including her history of a woman victim of gang rape, incest and child sexual trafficking, as well as her serious mental illness. She now has the President’s evidence There will be an opportunity to present her with a request that she is sentenced to life imprisonment.
Montgomery was convicted of killing 23-year-old Bobby Joe Stinnett in the northwest Missouri town of Skidmore in December 2004, using a rope to strangle an eight-month-old pregnant stint, and then to cut the baby. Pregnancy using a kitchen knife, officials said.
Prosecutors said Montgomery fired the child from Stinnett’s body, took the child with him, and attempted to pass the girl over as his own.