The ACLU is filing a suit to put an end to the cruel and unusual conditions that Lisa Montgomery, the only woman on federal death row, has been enduring as she awaits execution scheduled for the end of the year, according to the non-profit. Montgomery is being held at a Forth Worth prison, where she awaits execution by lethal injection on Dec 8. She would be the first woman to be federally executed since 1953, according to ESPY data.
"We just filed a motion asking the court to put an end to the torturous conditions that Lisa Montgomery [...] is being held in, and to prevent the added trauma of transferring her to the all-male Terre Haute prison," the organization wrote.
The non-profit filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia earlier this month on the condition that her Eighth Amendment rights, which protect her from cruel and unusual punishments, are being violated.
The ACLU's statement continued, "Montgomery was immediately deprived of all possessions and placed in a bright cell where male guards watch her 24/7, even when she uses the bathroom."
Montgomery of Melvern, Kansas was convicted of the 2004 grisly killing of Bobbie Jo Stinnett, a pregnant woman from Missouri, and attempting to take her child as her own. Montgomery attacked and strangled the woman and then cut the baby out of her abdomen, Inside Edition Digital previously reported.
The attorneys representing Montgomery on the case have fallen sick with COVID-19 since visiting their client in prison, Inside Edition Digital has been told.
"Mrs. Montgomery’s lawyers cannot represent her because they are seriously ill, through no fault of their own," a lawyer representing the firm said. "On the contrary, they are sick because Defendant Barr recklessly scheduled Mrs. Montgomery’s execution in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic."
The ACLU contends that Montgomery suffers from several mental disorders that she developed as a young girl. She is also a survivor of extreme trauma, including multiple gang rapes over her young life, the ACLU said. To survive, Montgomery would disassociate mentally –– which was the start of her mental illness, the Kansas City Star reported.
The non-profit argues that the conditions at the prison where she is being held are only aggravating her trauma from past sexual abuse. She is currently wearing a tear-resistant "safety smock" with only a crayon and a piece of paper in her cell, according to her lawyers. She was not allowed to wear undergarments from Oct. 16 to 30 and is being monitored by only male guards.