The US government has executed convicted murderer Lisa Montgomery, the only woman on federal death row. The Supreme Court cleared the last hurdle for the 52-year-old's death by overturning a stay, according to a reporter serving as a media witness.
Montgomery's execution on Wednesday marked the first time the government has implemented the death sentence for a female prisoner since 1953.
Challenges were fought across multiple federal courts on whether to allow the execution of Montgomery, who had initially been scheduled to be killed by lethal injections of pentobarbital, a powerful barbiturate on Tuesday in the Justice Department's execution chamber at its prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. In scathing remarks Kelley Henry, Montgomery's lawyer, called the pending execution, "vicious, unlawful, and unnecessary exercise of authoritarian power."
"No one can credibly dispute Mrs Montgomery's longstanding debilitating mental disease - diagnosed and treated for the first time by the Bureau of Prisons' own doctors," Henry said in a statement.
Montgomery was convicted in 2007 in Missouri for kidnapping and strangling Bobbie Jo Stinnett, then eight months pregnant. Montgomery cut Stinnett's fetus from the womb. The child survived.