Amber McLaughlin, a trans woman, was executed this Tuesday in USA for a murder in 2003, and became the first person from this group openly to face the death penalty in the country.
To McLaughlin, who began her gender transition about three years ago in prisonwas administered a lethal injection Tuesday night in Missouri, after the state’s governor, Republican Mike Parson, rejected his plea for clemency.
The trans woman, formerly known as Scott McLaughlin, was pronounced dead at 6:51 p.m. local time (23:51 GMT), according to the state Department of Prisons.
McLaughlin, 49, was convicted of the rape and murder of his ex-girlfriend Beverly Guenther, in St. Louis County, and her execution will also be the first of the year in the United States.
According to the Death Penalty Information Center, a group that opposes capital punishment, there is no other documented case of a trans man or woman executed in the United States.
“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 made a leniency application to Parson 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 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 child, and had an intellectual disability which was never mentioned during the trial.