Federal judge hints he may delay execution over inmate's lawyers' COVID-19 infection

Federal judge hints he may delay execution over inmate's lawyers' COVID-19 infection


A federal judge hinted Wednesday that he may delay the execution of the only woman on federal death row because her lawyers contracted COVID-19 during prison visits.

“There is a substantial argument that entitles [a defendant] to continuous representation by qualified counsel throughout the clemency process,” U.S. District Judge Randolph D. Moss said.

Lawyers for Lisa Montgomery, who is scheduled to be executed next month, are seeking to delay her death because they contracted COVID-19 while visiting the prison.

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Assistant federal public defenders Kelley Henry and Amy Harwell said in a statement last week they have “debilitating symptoms” and could not meet the Nov. 15 deadline for a clemency petition.

Instead, another lawyer filed a “placeholder” petition while they seek more time to file a more robust petition. But time is running out, they say, as Montgomery’s execution is set for Dec. 8.

Another lawyer involved in the case, Lisa Nouri, says she’s never prepared a clemency application and

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