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U.S to carry first execution of a woman in almost 70 years

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The U.S. Justice Department said on Friday it has scheduled the first federal execution of a woman in almost 70 years, setting a Dec. 8 date to put to death Lisa Montgomery, convicted of a 2004 murder.

Montgomery, who was found guilty of strangling a pregnant woman in Missouri, will be executed by lethal injection at U.S. Penitentiary Terre Haute, Indiana, the department said in a statement.

The last woman to be executed by the U.S. government was Bonnie Heady, who was put to death in a gas chamber in Missouri in 1953, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

The justice department on Friday also scheduled a Dec. 10. execution for Brandon Bernard, who with his accomplices murdered two youth ministers in 1999.

The two executions will be the eighth and ninth the federal government has carried out in 2020.

The Trump administration ended an informal 17-year-hiatus in federal executions in July, after announcing last year that the Bureau of Prisons was switching to a new single-drug protocol for lethal injections, from a three-drug combination it last used in 2003.

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