A MURDERER has become the first woman in 67 years to be executed by the US federal government.

Lisa Montgomery strangled a pregnant woman, before cutting the baby from her womb to pass off as her own in 2004.

The 52-year-old was executed by lethal injection at a US Penitentiary in Indiana on Wednesday morning.

The US Supreme Court cleared the way for Montgomery’s execution with a pair of orders issued just before midnight.

The high court lifted a stay of execution put in place by US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and rejected a final stay application from Montgomery’s lawyers.

Her representative, Kelley Henry, said: “The craven bloodlust of a failed administration was on full display tonight.

“Everyone who participated in the execution of Lisa Montgomery should feel shame. Our Constitution forbids the execution of a person who is unable to rationally understand her execution.

“The current administration knows this.

“They killed her anyway.”

Montgomery’s attorneys have said she endured severe physical and sexual abuse beginning in her childhood, and that she suffers from serious mental illness.

Late Monday night, US District Court Judge Patrick Hanlon granted a stay to halt the execution, citing the need to determine Montgomery’s mental competence, according to attorneys.

Tuesday’s legal battles began when the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit declined to stay her execution less than 24 hours after a federal judge in Indiana granted one over concerns about her deteriorating mental health.

On Tuesday afternoon a judge with the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit granted another stay, throwing Montgomery’s execution further, into question.

The high court then lifted the stay issued by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, but the Eighth Circuit stay remained in place until the near-midnight decisions by the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court repeatedly split along partisan lines, with liberal Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan ruling in ways that would have granted Montgomery a reprieve.

By Tuesday afternoon, that stay had been undone.

Three judges with the higher appeals court reversed Judge Hanlon’s order, saying that Montgomery’s attorneys waited too long to bring their request for an execution stay to federal court.

They also said that declarations attorneys used from three experts about the state of Montgomery’s mental health relied on outdated information.

Two of the experts had last seen Montgomery in 2016, and the other last saw her in 2010, according to the judges.

In 2004, Montgomery drove from her Melvern, Kansas, farmhouse to the northwest Missouri town of Skidmore under the guise of adopting a rat terrier puppy from Bobbie Jo Stinnett, a 23-year-old dog breeder.

She strangled Stinnett with a rope before performing a crude cesarean and fleeing with the baby.

On Christmas Eve, Montgomery’s lawyers asked US President Trump to commute her death sentence to life in prison without parole.

Montgomery is just the third woman executed by the federal government since 1900.

She joins Bonnie Brown Heady who was put to death in a gas chamber in December 1953 for her role in the kidnapping and murder of a multi-millionaire car dealer’s six-year-old son; and Ethel Rosenberg who was executed in June 1953 for trying to deliver war secrets to the Soviet Union.