In our ongoing series 19 Minutes with The 19th, we give you, our audience, the opportunity to ask our reporters questions about their work and the issues facing communities across the country.
On our last episode of 2020, I talked to The 19th’s Editor in Chief Andrea Valdez about what it was like for her to lead a newsroom during the 2020 election. A new live episode will premiere on Friday, January 15, at 5 p.m. CT. We’ll talk to general assignment reporter Ko Bragg, who traveled this week to Terre Haute, Indiana, to cover the execution of Lisa Montgomery, the first woman to be executed by the federal government since 1953.
On January 13, 52-year-old Montgomery became the 11th, and perhaps final, person to be executed by the federal government under the Trump administration. In 2004, she killed Bobbie Jo Stinnett, a pregnant woman, and kidnapped the child that she cut from Stinnett’s stomach. Montgomery’s lawyers wanted more time to show the courts that her present mental state was connected to a lifetime of trauma, and attempted to prove that her mental state had declined, rendering her incompetent for an execution.
Bragg, who began her coverage on the case of Montgomery last year, will join us on Instagram Live Friday to discuss the months and days leading up to Montgomery’s execution, her experience reporting from outside of the federal prison complex in Indiana, and the future of the federal death penalty.