The United States executed a murderer who had become a transgender person in prison

Amber McLaughlin, executed Tuesday (via AP)
Amber McLaughlin, executed Tuesday (via AP)

Amber McLaughlina trans womanwas executed this Tuesday in the United States for a 2003 murder, and became the first person openly from this group to face the death penalty in the country.

To McLaughlin, who began her gender transition about three years ago in prisonthey administered to him tonight the lethal injection in Missouriafter the governor of that state, Republican Mike Parson, rejected his plea for clemency.

The trans woman, formerly known as Scott McLaughlin, was pronounced dead at 6:51 p.m., according to the Missouri Department of Corrections. McLaugling was chatting quietly with a spirit guide next to her as she was injected with the lethal dose of pentobarbital.

McLauglin took a couple of deep breaths, then closed his eyes. They certified that he had died a few minutes later. “I regret what I did,” he said in his last written statement. “I am a loving and kind person.”

McLaughlin, 49, was convicted of the rape and murder of his ex-girlfriend Beverly Guentherin St. Louis County, and his execution was also the first of the year in the United States.

Photo provided by the Missouri Department of Corrections (AP/File)
Photo provided by the Missouri Department of Corrections (AP/File)

According to the Death Penalty Information Center, a group that opposes the death penalty, there is no other documented case of a trans man or woman executed in the United States.

According to statistics from the Death Penalty Information Center, which opposes executions, 1,558 people have been subjected to the death penalty since it was reinstated in the mid-1970s.

“McLaughlin stalked, raped and murdered Guenther,” Parson added. “McLaughlin is a violent criminal. Guenther’s family and loved ones deserve peace.”

McLaughlin’s lawyers had petitioned Parson for clemency on December 12, pleading with her to commute her sentence to life imprisonment, emphasizing that the jury that found her guilty failed to reach a decision on her sentence.

Missouri and Indiana are the only two states where the law allows the presiding judge to impose the death penalty in the case of a hung jury.

But Governor Parson said this morning that McLaughlin’s conviction and sentence stood.

Michelle Smith, co-director of Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, told The Kansas City Star that this variant makes Missouri “an extreme case” that “reeks of injustice.”

In their leniency petition, McLaughlin’s lawyers claimed that she was abused as a childand suffered from intellectual disability which was never mentioned during the trial.

(With information from EFE and AFP)

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