22nd Jan 2021

EU condemns US execution of Lisa Montgomery

  • “The sheer number of executions set the Trump administration apart as an outlier in the use of capital punishment,” said the Death Penalty Information Center (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

The EU has spoken out against the execution of the only woman on death row in the United States.

The death marks a flurry of executions under the final weeks and days of embattled US president, Donald Trump.

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On Wednesday (13 January), the European Commission said it "deeply regrets" the execution of 52-year old Lisa Montgomery.

Her lawyers said she was mentally ill. But their defence failed to convince the US Supreme Court to keep her alive.

Montgomery received a lethal injection early Wednesday for having strangled a pregnant woman before cutting out and kidnapping her baby in 2004.

The EU had demanded clemency for her case, noting that minimum standards should be respected for people with mental disorders.

It is now demanding that the US administration reverse all pending federal-level executions during the last days of the current administration.

"Since the resumption of the federal death penalty in July 2020, after a 17-year hiatus, we have witnessed a high number of executions," said Peter Stano, an EU commission spokesperson.

Montgomery is the first woman to be executed at the US federal level in almost seven decades.

The case has attracted widespread attention given her mental illness. Her family members said she had also been sexually and physically abused by her father and trafficked by her mother.

It also comes amid heightened tensions after pro-Trump mobs stormed the US Capitol last week.

"The craven bloodlust of a failed administration was on full display tonight," her lawyer, Kelly Henry, said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Eleven people on US death row have been executed since last summer.

"The sheer number of executions set the Trump administration apart as an outlier in the use of capital punishment," said the Death Penalty Information Center, a non-profit organisation based in Washington DC.

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