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Update Jan 11, 2021
The fight to save Lisa’s life is far from over but the Stay of Execution is good news and provides positive momentum as the struggle moves to the higher courts.

Tweet of Attorney Statement re: Stay in Lisa Montgomery Case: https://twitter.com/LauraBurstein1/status/1348850719487627264

Tonight, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana granted a stay of execution for Lisa Montgomery in order to conduct an evidentiary hearing to determine whether she is currently competent to be executed under the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Experts in neuropsychiatry and clinical psychology submitted affidavits to the Court stating that Mrs. Montgomery is unable to rationally understand the basis for her execution and therefore was not competent under Madison v. Alabama (2019), Panetti v. Quarterman (2007), and Ford v. Wainwright (1985).

Kelley Henry, Lisa Montgomery’s attorney, made the following statement:

“The Court was right to put a stop to Lisa Montgomery’s execution. As the court found, Mrs. Montgomery ‘made a strong showing’ of her current incompetence to be executed. Mrs. Montgomery has brain damage and severe mental illness that was exacerbated by the lifetime of sexual torture she suffered at the hands of caretakers. The Eighth Amendment prohibits the execution of people like Mrs. Montgomery who, due to their severe mental illness or brain damage, do not understand the basis for their executions. Mrs. Montgomery is mentally deteriorating and we are seeking an opportunity to prove her incompetence.”  

— Kelley Henry, attorney for Lisa Montgomery

— January 11, 2021

The court’s order can be view here: https://tinyurl.com/y58444fs

Mrs. Montgomery’s Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus can be viewed here: https://tinyurl.com/yy4nqkm4


[Below shared by #SaveLisa campaign]

We received very bad news today in Lisa’s case. A panel of 3 judges in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s order, which had found the government acted illegally in scheduling Lisa’s 1/12 execution date. The legal team will be appealing this decision to the entire court, which will consist of 9 judges. 

We’re hosting a social media power hour on Tuesday, January 5and we welcome your and your organizations’ support. In particular, if you manage or are connected to someone with a social media account with a large following, we need your help.

Here is how you can support the #savelisa campaign:


Previous News

Stay of Execution Granted for Lisa Montgomery

BREAKING: U.S. District Judge Randolph D. Moss has enjoined the federal government from executing Lisa Montgomery, a severely traumatized and mentally ill person who is the only woman on federal death row, until her lawyers recover from COVID-19 and can prepare her clemency application. 

The injunction was entered in a lawsuit filed on Mrs. Montgomery’s behalf by Cornell Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic, arguing that Mrs. Montgomery’s longtime lawyers could not complete her clemency application by the November 15 deadline because they contracted COVID-19 while traveling to visit her and are suffering debilitating symptoms. The lawsuit also explained that the pandemic affects more than counsel, because the experts familiar with Mrs. Montgomery’s mental health history cannot travel to assess her current condition and thus cannot assist in the clemency process. Judge Moss’s order blocks the government from executing Mrs. Montgomery until December 31, 2020.

Below is a statement from Sandra L. Babcock, one of the lawyers representing Mrs. Montgomery in this action:

“The district court’s ruling gives Lisa Montgomery a meaningful opportunity to prepare and present a clemency application after her attorneys recover from COVID. Mrs. Montgomery’s case presents compelling grounds for clemency, including her history as a victim of gang rape, incest, and child sex trafficking, as well as her severe mental illness. She will now have the opportunity to present this evidence to the President with a request that he commute her sentence to life imprisonment.”

– Sandra L. Babcock, Clinical Professor of Law, Cornell Law School, November 19, 2020

Judge Moss’ Memorandum opinion granting a stay can be accessed here: https://tinyurl.com/y29t28mg

Stay order is here: https://tinyurl.com/y2gdn2wx