300,000 signatures reached
To: President Donald Trump
TELL PRESIDENT TRUMP TO STOP THE EXECUTION OF LISA MONTGOMERY
Dear President Trump,
We ask you to extend mercy to Lisa Montgomery, a victim of multiple rapes, child sex trafficking, and domestic violence. Lisa was sentenced to death by a jury that was never informed of the full extent and impact of the sexual violence and physical abuse she endured. As a result of her trauma, she is now so mentally ill that she must receive multiple medications to prevent full-blown psychosis.
We also ask you at a minimum to grant a stay of execution. We believe Lisa deserves a full and fair opportunity to petition the courts to stay her execution, as well as an opportunity to present comprehensive arguments to you and your administration as to why her death sentence should be commuted to life imprisonment. This cannot happen in the midst of a global pandemic.
The story of Lisa’s life is worse than a nightmare. She was born with permanent brain damage caused by her mother’s drinking during pregnancy. A child of extreme poverty, she was repeatedly raped by her stepfather. She was routinely beaten and terrorized by her mother. Lisa’s mother trafficked her to men who were allowed to rape Lisa in exchange for utilities and other services. Although this was suspected or known by teachers, police, and the courts, nobody intervened to protect Lisa.
This horror continued when she married her stepbrother at the urging of her mother at the age of 18. He continued the cycle of abuse, raping and beating her. Not surprisingly, this lifetime of torture exacerbated Lisa’s genetic predisposition to mental illness, and caused her to develop a dissociative disorder in addition to complex post-traumatic stress disorder. Her severe trauma and mental illness led directly to the crime for which she was convicted – the murder of a pregnant woman and the kidnapping of her child.
At her trial, prosecutors used gender stereotypes against Lisa, repeatedly casting her as unfit mother and homemaker, telling jurors that she didn’t go to her children’s events, and that “[s]he didn’t cook, and [s]he didn’t clean,” and kept a “filthy home.” The prosecution trivialized the evidence of her being repeatedly raped as a child, calling it the “abuse excuse.”
The lifetime of rape and sexual torture that Lisa endured is not an ‘abuse excuse.’ It was her horrific life story that the jury should have considered in deciding whether she was someone who deserved to live or die. The jury was never given that opportunity. President Trump, please consider this evidence and spare Lisa Montgomery’s life. Spending the rest of her life in prison is more than adequate punishment for this crime given Lisa’s traumatic history and mental illness.
Why is this important?
January 12th update (5:36PM EDT): Both the Eighth Circuit and the DC Circuit have issued stays of execution for Lisa. The Department of Justice is appealing both to the United States Supreme Court, and presumably they will rule on the stays tonight. The Bureau of Prison continues to prepare to execute Lisa today. Lisa's life is still in danger.