Italy's deputy foreign minister Emanuela Del Re has called on authorities in the United States not to execute convicted murderer Lisa Montgomery, who is scheduled to be killed by lethal injection on Tuesday.
"2021 risks beginning with a dismal record: the first execution of a woman since 1953," Del Re wrote Tuesday on her blog on the Italian edition of HuffPost, to which she tweeted a link.
If Montgomery is put to death, it will mark an end of a 17-year hiatus on executions for federal crimes in the US, Del Re recalled.
"Firm opposition to the death penalty is a distinctive characteristic of Italian society that pre-dates the unification of Italy," Del Re wrote.
All the evidence shows capital punishment does not improve citizens's security or act as a deterrent, Del Re argued.
"The death penalty is just a short-cut to avoid the need to implement strategies to prevent crime which have shown themselves to be infinitely more effective and sustainable over time."
Montgomery is scheduled to be executed on Tuesday for the murder of a 23-year-old woman who was eight months pregnant. In December 2004, Montgomery, then 36, strangled Bobbie Jo Stinnett at her home in the state of Missouri before cutting the baby out of Stinnett's womb.
Montgomery was diagnosed with foetal alcohol syndrome and psychosis and endured atrocious physical, psychological and sexual abuse in her childhood that amounted to torture, according to her legal team.
If all of the currently scheduled executions go ahead, Montgomery will be one of 13 inmates that the administration of president Donald Trump has put to death in less than a year.
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