Missouri executes Amber McLaughlin, the first transgender woman to be put to death in the United States.

On Tuesday, a female prisoner in Missouri received a fatal injection and became the first openly transgender person to be killed in the US.
When Missouri Governor Mike Parson rejected a clemency plea earlier on Tuesday, Amber McLaughlin’s destiny was already decided. As the pentobarbital dose that would cause her death was administered, McLaughlin whispered softly to a spiritual advisor by her side.

McLaughlin took several deep breaths before closing her eyes. She was declared deceased a short while afterwards.

In a last written statement, McLaughlin expressed his regret for what he had done. I consider myself to be kind and compassionate.

Amber McLaughlin: who is she? McLaughlin, 49, was found guilty of murdering Beverly Guenther, 45, on November 20, 2003. In St. Louis County, Guenther, McLaughlin’s ex-girlfriend, was raped and fatally stabbed. In 2006, a judge executed McLaughlin for the murder when a jury couldn’t agree on the verdict.
The wider picture on gender: Since capital punishment was resumed in the United States in the 1970s, McLaughlin was one of the few women who had been assigned to death row. 50 of the 2,414 persons who were scheduled for execution as of April 1, 2022, according to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, were women. The anti-execution Death Penalty Information Center states that it is not known of any prior instances in which a person who identified as openly transgender was killed.

There are “some serious concerns here,” since some states have recently failed to carry out fatal injections.

a clemency plea mentions mental health issues and a terrible upbringing
McLaughlin’s counsel asked Parson for clemency on December 12 and asked that a life sentence without the possibility of parole be substituted for a death sentence. The petition for clemency lists the chronic trauma McLaughlin endured as a child, including brain damage from foetal alcohol exposure, childhood traumatic brain injuries, abuse she experienced, including being tased and beaten, abuse she experienced at her adoptive home, and her diagnosed depression and suicide attempts.

The petition claims that McLaughlin’s initial trial in 2006 did not include information on her mental health or childhood maltreatment.

The State of Missouri will execute the death penalty sentence, according to Parson, who referred to McLaughlin by her name and gender identification prior to her change.

“The family and loved ones of Ms. Guenther deserve peace,” Parson added. The State of Missouri will execute McLaughlin’s sentence in accordance with the court’s directive and uphold the rule of law.

The Death Penalty Information Center reports that five executions have occurred in Missouri since Parson took office in June 2018 as a result of his refusal to grant mercy in each instance.

The governor of Oregon will commute all 17 death row inmates’ sentences to life in prison without the possibility of release.

Details on the case of Amber McLaughlin
After the pair split up, McLaughlin started following Guenther at her St. Louis place of business, occasionally lurking inside the premises, according to court documents. Guenther as a result got a restraining order.

Guenther’s neighbours alerted the police on November 20, 2003 when she didn’t come home. When they arrived, they found a broken knife handle and a blood trail next to her car at the office building. The next day, McLaughlin directed police to the location of Guenther’s body’s disposal.

Following the presentation of the information about McLaughlin’s mental health, a judge ordered a fresh sentencing hearing in 2016. However, a federal appeals court panel upheld the death penalty in 2021. Along with Indiana, Missouri is one of just two states that permits a judge, as opposed to a jury, to impose a death sentence.

According to McLaughlin’s mentor and former inmate Jessica Hicklin, who is transgender, McLaughlin started transitioning roughly three years ago.