WASHINGTON, D.C. — The middle-of-the-night execution of Lisa Montgomery, hastened by the rush-to-execute mandate of Donald Trump’s Justice Department, was a shock to our system of fairness, justice, and decency. In any other week, it would have been the worst imaginable example of such desecration.
Donald Trump’s abuse of power corrupts everything he touches, and the federal system of judicial killing is no exception. According to the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC), for the first time in U.S. history, the federal government has in one year executed more prisoners than all the states combined.
We know as DPIC said, that “racism has always infected the use of the death penalty,” and part of Donald Trump’s racist election strategy was to run as a law-and-order candidate who was pushing for more federal executions. He loves to glorify violence in his speeches and his actions, encouraging white nationalism. Meanwhile, he does nothing to prevent or prosecute violence against women.
Lisa Montgomery was a perfect foil for his brutality—a woman who suffered horrific sexual torture and had been diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome from birth (which impacted her cognitive and behavioral development), depression, borderline personality disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. But because Donald Trump literally has the power of life and death over federal inmates, Lisa Montgomery was executed for the most craven political purposes, when she should have been institutionalized and treated for her illness.
NOW believes that the culture of violence against women has only flourished under the Trump administration. And that our country’s broken systems – the justice system, education system, foster care system, healthcare system, and more – have desperately failed Lisa Montgomery. We condemn her unjust execution and urge the new Administration to work toward reforms that will protect survivors and to push forward with a feminist agenda that prioritizes the health, safety, and well–being of women.