A panel of three federal judges ruled on Friday that the Trump administration can go ahead with the planned execution of the only woman on death row in the federal court system before President Trump leaves office. The Justice Department had planned to execute Lisa Montgomery in January, as part of an apparent push by the Trump administration to execute a number of federal prisoners on death row before President-elect Joe Biden takes office. Those plans were halted when a federal judge ruled on Christmas Eve that the change in Montgomery’s execution date was illegal. But on Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C. overturned the ruling, effectively paving the way for her execution on Jan. 12.
Lisa Montgomery was convicted of murder in 2007 after she strangled to death a woman she met online who was eight months pregnant. Montgomery carved the dead woman’s baby out of her stomach in an attempt to claim the child as her daughter but police quickly caught her and prosecutors charged Montgomery with kidnapping resulting in death, a federal offense.