‘A lifetime of torture’: the story of the only woman on US federal death row

The justice department said Lisa Montgomery was guilty of an ‘especially heinous’ crime – but those who have looked deeply into her agonized life see it differently

Lisa Montgomery’s first experiences of sexual abuse occurred indirectly when she was three years old. She would lie in bed at night beside her beloved half-sister Diane, close enough to touch, while Diane, then eight, was being raped by their male babysitter.

At the age of 11, Montgomery learnt what it was like to be attacked herself. Her stepfather Jack, a “mean drunk” who regularly beat her and her mother, began raping her once or twice a week.

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