Lisa Montgomery is scheduled to be executed on Tuesday, January 9th. Her crime seems to me to echo the extreme brutality she endured throughout her own life.
She experienced rape more times than can be counted, including gang rapes by her stepfather’s friends, sodomy, and being sold for sex with people such as the plumber and electrician by her mother when work was needed in their home. Her stepfather built a special room where she could be raped more often and more easily. She was smothered to silence her screaming, she suffered a concussion, was beaten with cords, and urinated on. Her mother put a gun to her head. She would also duct tape her daughter’s mouth shut as punishment, and Lisa was required to be naked and silent among her parent’s friends. As a young adult, she was forced into a marriage by her mother where she continued to be raped and beaten.
Not surprisingly, Lisa has serious mental health problems as well as brain damage as a result of a lifetime of horror. Lisa’s crime, to brutally take a child from the safe and nurturing womb of the baby’s mother, parallels the destruction of her own safety throughout her life, beginning in her most vulnerable years. Bobbi Jo Stinnett lost her life, and her daughter brutally lost her mother, because of the horrific actions of Lisa’s parents, her parent’s friends, the social workers who removed her sister but left Lisa in the home, the judge and doctor who observed that abuse was taking place but did not intervene, and others in her life who perpetuated her torture. So many were involved, that this is on us, our society. Bobbi Jo Stinnett died because we live the way we do, accept and teach sexual violence the way we do, and stay silent the way we do. Now we are about to kill her. If is not stopped, we will join all the others in collectively throwing her life away, like garbage. We do not have a justice system. Justice holds the broken tenderly.
Lisa’s is one of three executions next week, the last of a series of 10 executions by the Federal Government since July, as ordered by the Trump Administration following 17 years of no federal executions. Please respond loudly and forcefully. This web link can help: http://deathpenaltyaction.org/federal-death-penalty
More of Lisa’s story can be found here: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/05/lisa-montgomery-death-row-execution-history