U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss had earlier temporarily stayed Lisa Montgomery’s execution due to her lawyers having contracted COVID-19. Officials in response rescheduled Montgomery’s execution date to Jan. 12. But Moss on Thursday said they were prohibited from scheduling a new date until at least Jan. 1.
Justice Department guidelines hold that, in most circumstances, prisoners must be notified of their pending execution “at least 20 days in advance” of its being carried out. That convention could punt Montgomery’s execution to after Inauguration Day, when Joe Biden is anticipated to be sworn in as president. Biden has expressed opposition to the death penalty in the past.
Montgomery was convicted in 2007 for murdering then-pregnant Bobbie Jo Stinnett in Skidmore, Missouri. Montgomery killed Stinnett, cut her open and kidnapped her baby. The baby was eventually returned, living, to Stinnett’s widower.
The Immigration Service Union has warned that Covid-19 border restrictions are ineffective at combating the spread of the virus,...