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The Terre Haute Federal Correctional Complex in Indiana, where Lisa Montgomery is scheduled to be executed. Photo: Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday ruled that a federal judge was wrong when he delayed the execution of Lisa Montgomery, the only woman on federal death row.

Why it matters: If Montgomery is executed, she will be the first female federal inmate put to death in almost 70 years, per The New York Times.

  • The execution is scheduled to take place on Jan. 12, just days before the inauguration of President-elect Biden, who opposes the death penalty.

Background: Montgomery was originally scheduled to be executed on Dec. 8 in the Terre Haute Federal Correctional Complex in Indiana, but U.S. District Court Judge Randolph Moss postponed the execution after her attorneys contracted coronavirus after visiting their client, preventing the Federal Bureau of Prisons from rescheduling before Jan. 1.

  • The Bureau of Prisons had attempted to reschedule the execution date for Jan. 12 in November, but were stopped by Moss' order.

The state of play: The appeals court said the agency could reschedule the execution because the original date had not passed. The court's order said it "was acting under the law, clearing the way for Montgomery's execution later this month," CNN writes.

The other side: Meaghan VerGow, one of Montgomery's attorneys, plans to file a petition for the court to reconsider, per CNN.

  • The attorneys argue that Montgomery suffers from serious mental illness and should not be executed.
  • VerGow has asked President Trump to reduce her client's sentence to life without parole, CNN reports.

Montgomery was convicted in 2004 for strangling Bobbie Jo Stinnett, who was 8-months pregnant at the time, then cutting her baby out of her stomach and kidnapping it. The baby survived.

Go deeper

Updated Jan 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Lisa Montgomery first female inmate to be executed in U.S. in nearly 70 years

Demonstrators protest federal executions of death row inmates, in front of the Justice Department in Washington, D.C., in December. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Lisa Montgomery became on Wednesday the first female inmate to be executed since 1953, per AP.

The big picture: The 52-year-old Kansas woman was declared dead at 1:31am after having a lethal injection at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, following a Supreme Court ruling late Tuesday.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
25 mins ago - Health

Special report: America's biggest hospitals vs. their patients

Expand chart
Data: JHU; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

More than a quarter of the 100 U.S. hospitals with the highest revenue sued patients over unpaid medical bills between 2018 and mid-2020, according to new research by Johns Hopkins University provided exclusively to Axios.

Why it matters: The report suggests that, rather than being an anomaly, patient lawsuits are relatively common across the country and among the largest providers.

25 mins ago - Technology
Column / Tech Agenda

The next big social network: Nextdoor

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Nextdoor, the neighborhood social network, has seen explosive growth over the past two years as homebound users became more fixated on what was happening on a hyper-local level.

Why it matters: Such rapid growth comes with challenges. What was once a niche social network is now so popular that it's grappling with some of the same thorny problems plaguing Facebook and Twitter, such as content moderation.