The first openly transgender woman executed in the US is said to have been put to death in Missouri on Tuesday. Amber McLaughlin, 49, was executed by lethal injection for the 2003 murder of Beverly Guenther, her lover. McLaughlin could only avoid death by the Republican governor of Missouri, Mike Parson, who had said that the state would execute McLaughlin on Tuesday.
“After numerous, comprehensive reviews of Missouri law, McLaughlin’s conviction and imprisonment remain in place. Ms. Guenther was stalked, raped, and killed by McLaughlin. The violent criminal McLaughlin, “In a statement, Parson stated. “The loved ones and family of Ms. Guenther deserve tranquility. The State of Missouri will execute McLaughlin’s sentence following the court’s directive and uphold the rule of law.”
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According to McLaughlin’s lawyer, Larry Komp, there are no current judicial appeals. At the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre, Missouri, the execution was carried out.
According to the anti-execution Death Penalty Information Center, there has never been a transgender prisoner executed in the United States. A prison companion claimed to have witnessed McLaughlin’s personality develop throughout her gender transformation.
McLaughlin was Scott McLaughlin at birth, and during his trial, he did not transition until after receiving a prison term. Guenther, 45, and McLaughlin were dating, and McLaughlin occasionally showed up at Guenther’s St. Louis workplace.
Tonight Missouri carried out its 93rd execution when they killed #AmberMcLaughlin at 6:51 pm. We are grateful to the thousands of people across the world who took action for Amber & against the death penalty in Missouri. pic.twitter.com/gJ40JZvHTn
— Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (@MADPMO) January 4, 2023
According to court documents, McLaughlin occasionally hid inside the structure, which prompted Guenther to request a restraining order.
Sometimes, Guenther would be escorted to her car by cops. According to the AP, Guenther’s neighbors reported her missing on the evening of November 20, 2003, and they phoned the police.
When police arrived at Guenther’s workplace, they discovered a blood trail and a broken knife handle close to her car. The following day, McLaughlin took the police to the location of Guenther’s body’s burial in the Mississippi River.
After the jury couldn’t agree on the punishment, McLaughlin was found guilty of first-degree murder in 2006 and given the death penalty. The federal appeals court panel reinstated the death penalty in 2021 despite a court’s direction for a new sentencing hearing in 2016.