Amber McLaughlin, a trans woman, will be executed this Tuesday in USA for a 2003 murder and will become the first person from this group to face the death penalty in the country.
McLaughlin, who began her gender transition some three years ago in prison, will be given a lethal injection this afternoon in Missouri, after Missouri Governor Mike Parson, a Republican, will reject his request for clemency today.
“The Conviction and Sentencing of McLaughlin hold up after multiple lengthy examinations of Missouri law”Parson said in a statement. The execution is scheduled for 18:00 local time (23:00 GMT).
McLaughlin, 49, was convicted of the rape and murder of his ex-girlfriend Beverly Guenther in Saint Louis County and his 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. The state of Missouri will carry out McLaughlin’s sentence in compliance with the Court’s order.”
McLaughlin’s lawyers had petitioned Parson for clemency on December 12, begging him to commute the sentence to life imprisonment, emphasizing that the jury that found her guilty failed to reach a decision on sentencing.
Missouri and Indiana are the only two states where the law allows the judge who presided over the trial to impose the death penalty in the case of a hung jury.
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 has an intellectual disability which was never mentioned during the trial. EFE