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Lisa Montgomery's life hangs in the balance as the Supreme Court debates and Congress moves

As the Trump administration rushes to take more lives in its final 8 days, legislators look to do away with government-sponsored killings altogether.

Following a stay of execution granted last night by a federal judge, the Supreme Court has ruled once again to override a lower order and execute a child of God.

Lisa Montgomery’s case remains under the shadow of two other appeals which could halt the execution, but the Supreme Court will have the final say on those as well.

The news comes shortly after the announcement of Congressional legislation that would end the practice of capital punishment, introduced yesterday by Minnesota Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D).

The bill (H.R. 262) was shared first with NPR, who termed it as abolition. However, it would actually only end its use—“imposition”—as a valid court sentence.

That said, New York’s Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D), one of two Black Catholics in Congress, introduced a bill over a week ago (H.R. 97) that would actually “abolish the death penalty under federal law”, ending the long-held practice both at the federal and state levels.

Among the co-sponsors on both bills is Congress’ other Black Catholic, Rep. Anthony G. Brown (D) of Maryland.

Montgomery’s execution is one of three scheduled for this week, with Corey Johnson scheduled to be killed by the state on Thursday and Dustin Higgs on Friday.

These two, both African-American and both COVID-positive, were granted stays of execution today as well. (The Trump administration had previously planned to proceed despite their diagnoses.)

Also of note: both Johnson and Montgomery are said to be intellectually disabled.

Nate Tinner-Williams is co-founder of Black Catholic Messenger, a priesthood applicant with the Josephites, and a ThM student with the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA).