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Federal appeals court clears way for lone female death row inmate to be executed

Lisa Montgomery expected to be executed on January 12, absent additional appeals.

The Department of Justice headquarters
The Department of Justice headquarters
(Drew Angerer/Getty)
Updated: January 1, 2021 - 5:37pm

A federal appeals court cleared the way Friday for the lone woman on death row to be executed before President Trump’s first term ends later this month.

The three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that a lower court judge erred when he vacated Lisa Montgomery's execution date last month.

Montgomery, 52, was convicted of killing a pregnant Missouri woman in 2003, cutting the baby girl from the womb and portraying the child as her own.

Montgomery’s lawyers have argued she suffers from mental illness from years of abuse. 

U.S. District Court Judge Randolph Moss had ruled last week the Justice Department did not have the authority to schedule an execution date. DOJ appealed. 

More appeals are expected though federal authorities are on track to schedule the execution for Jan. 12.