New York Daily News
An openly transgender person was executed for the first time in the history of the U.S. on Tuesday night.
Amber McLaughlin, 49, died by lethal injection in Bonne Terre, Mo., shortly before 7 p.m. local time.
She was convicted in 2006 of raping and murdering an ex-girlfriend, Beverly Guenther. The crime occurred years before McLaughlin transitioned.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, denied McLaughlin’s last-ditch plea for clemency on Tuesday.
“I am sorry for what I did. I am a loving and caring person,” McLaughlin said in her final statement.
In 2002, McLaughlin and Guenther began a short-lived relationship. After they separated, Guenther obtained a restraining order against McLaughlin in October 2003. McLaughlin was known to stake out Guenther’s office in suburban St. Louis, and cops occasionally escorted Guenther to her car.
But on Nov. 20, 2003, Guenther’s neighbors alerted the police that she hadn’t returned home. Investigators found a trail of blood and a broken knife handle near her car, outside her office building.
McLaughlin led police to the place near the Mississippi River where Guenther’s body had been dumped. McLaughlin had raped Guenther and fatally stabbed her with a steak knife. In 2006, she was convicted of first-degree murder, but a jury deadlocked on the sentence. The judge singlehandedly imposed the death penalty.
McLaughlin began transitioning around 2019, fellow transgender inmate Jessica Hicklin said.
In pleas for clemency, McLaughlin’s lawyers argued that their client had been abused as a child, including by a foster parent who used a Taser on the youngster. McLaughlin’s transgender identity did not significantly factor into the pleas, though attorneys mentioned that she battled gender dysphoria.
With News Wire Services