Amber McLaughlin to become the first transgender woman executed in the US
St. Louis, Missouri - Amber McLaughlin is set to become the first ever transgender woman to be executed in the United States on Tuesday.
The office of Missouri governor Mike Parson released a statement, declaring the state will carry out her execution by lethal injection on Tuesday, as decided by the Missouri Supreme Court.
McLaughlin (49) was given the death penalty after she was found guilty of stalking, raping, and murdering her ex-girlfriend Beverly Guenther in November 2003. She also allegedly tried to dispose of Guenther's body by dumping it in the Mississippi River.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the jury for the trial was unable to come to a decision on the case, so Judge Steven Goldman decided, and imposed the death sentence.
"McLaughlin is a violent criminal," Parson said in the release on Tuesday. "Ms. Guenther's family and loved ones deserve peace."
At the time of the murder, Amber identified as male under her birth name, Scott McLaughlin. She began transitioning within the past few years, during her time on death row.
On Monday, McLaughlin and her legal team submitted an application for executive clemency, citing her traumatic childhood and mental health as reasons she should avoid execution. Her history of mental illness was also never covered during the trial.
"Amber McLaughlin never had a chance," the clemency petition reportedly states. "She was failed by the institutions, individuals and interventions that should have protected her, and her abusers obstructed the care she so desperately needed."
Some are arguing against the execution of Amber McLaughlin
The Missouri Democratic LGBTQ Caucus is in support of McLaughlin's clemency request.
In a statement shared on Twitter, the organization argues that the jury in the case was deadlocked, and the decision was then made "from the bench."
They also added, "We resoundingly reject the violence in executing a member of the LGBTQIA+ community during a time of increased attacks and hateful rhetoric across America."
Missouri Congressmember Cori Bush released her own statement alongside fellow Representative Emanuel Cleaver, urging the governor to grant McLaughlin clemency, arguing in favor of "the sanctity of life."
"Ms. McLaughlin’s cruel execution would mark the state’s first use of the death penalty on a woman since the US Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976," the statement added, calling the death penalty "cruel, barbaric, and inhumane."
A petition has also been created to request that Governor Mike Parson immediately stop the execution of Amber McLaughlin, calling it "unconstitutional."
Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO / YAY Images & Bihlmayer photography