A federal judge has granted Lisa Montgomery, the only woman on federal death row, a stay of her execution scheduled for this evening. The court ordered a hearing to determine Montgomery’s mental competency to face execution. The government has already appealed the ruling. She would become the first woman to face federal execution in nearly 70 years.
This comes as four former corrections officers from Indiana have issued a letter urging acting U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen to postpone three federal executions scheduled for this week, citing safety concerns due to COVID-19. The letter, released alongside the American Civil Liberties Union, says executions at Terre Haute have led to a spike in coronavirus cases among prisoners and staff. Two men scheduled for execution later this week — Dustin Higgs and Cory Johnson — recently contracted COVID-19.