Missouri Executes Transgender Inmate Convicted of Murder!

Missouri Executes Transgender Inmate: Amber McLaughlin, convicted of a murder in 2003 and had unsuccessfully requested a pardon from the governor, was executed by lethal injection in Missouri on Tuesday, making her the first openly transgender person to be completed in the United States.

Missouri Department of Corrections released a statement saying that McLaughlin had been pronounced deceased at 6:51 p.m. In her final report, McLaughlin said, “I am sorry for what I did,” and the department of corrections made it public. That’s me: a compassionate and caring human being.

McLaughlin’s execution, the first in the US this year, is unprecedented; the United States already has a meager rate of capital punishment. The Death Sentence Information Center reports that before McLaughlin’s execution, only 17 people had been executed since 1976 when the US Supreme Court reintroduced the death penalty after a brief hiatus.

A non-profit group has verified that McLaughlin is the first transgender person to be put to death in the USA. McLaughlin, 49, and her legal team had asked Republican Governor Mike Parson to commute her execution sentence by filing a clemency petition.

They argue that McLaughlin deserves leniency since he has demonstrated remorse, has an intellectual handicap, mental health concerns, and a history of childhood trauma and that the jury could not reach a unanimous decision on whether or not to impose the death penalty.

However, Parson’s office issued a statement on Tuesday saying that the execution would proceed as scheduled. The message said they “deserve peace,” referring to the victim, Beverly Guenther’s loved ones. Parson vowed that the state of Missouri would “bring justice” by carrying out McLaughlin’s punishment by a court ruling.

McLaughlin’s federal public defender Larry Komp and the governor’s office have stated that McLaughlin, referred to in court documents as Scott McLaughlin, was placed at Potosi Correctional Center, which houses male offenders, because he had not initiated a legal name change or transition.

McLaughlin Had Been Convicted of Murder & Rape

According to the court documents, McLaughlin was given the death penalty in November 2003 for the murder of Guenther. Guenther had an order of protection against McLaughlin after McLaughlin was arrested for burglarizing Guenther’s home, and the two had previously been in a relationship before Guenther’s murder.

Missouri Executes Transgender Inmate Convicted of Murder
Missouri Executes Transgender Inmate Convicted of Murder

McLaughlin allegedly waited for Guenther outside the victim’s employment while the restraining order was still in effect many weeks later. At trial, the prosecution maintained that blood spatters in the parking lot and Guenther’s truck was evidence that McLaughlin had repeatedly stabbed and raped Guenther.

Court documents reveal that a jury found McLaughlin guilty of first-degree murder, forcible rape, and armed criminal action. Unfortunately, the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict about the appropriate punishment.

Unlike most US states with the death penalty, Missouri does not require a unanimous jury decision to recommend or impose the death penalty. Suppose a jury cannot reach a unanimous decision on whether or not to impose the death penalty.

In that case, the judge must make the ultimate decision between life in prison without the possibility of parole and execution. The judge who presided over McLaughlin’s trial and sentencing ordered that he be put to death.

McLaughlin’s lawyers contended that if Parson granted mercy, he would not be going against the will of the jury by not imposing the death penalty. However, in the petition presented to the governor, McLaughlin’s lawyers cited that as one of several reasons why Parson should grant her pardon.

McLaughlin’s counsel brought her mental health issues and her history of childhood trauma to the deadlocked jury. According to the petition, McLaughlin has been “consistently diagnosed with borderline intellectual disability” and “universally diagnosed with brain damage in addition to fetal alcohol syndrome.”

Also, Check

According to the petition, McLaughlin was “abandoned” by her mother and left in the foster care system, where she “had feces forced into her face” at one of her homes. The petition claims that she was subjected to further abuse and suffering, including being tased by her adoptive father, and that she struggled with depression and made “several suicide attempts.”

Expert testimony on McLaughlin’s mental state at the time of Guenther’s murder was not presented to the jury, the petition claims. Her lawyers contended that testimony could have swayed the jury in favor of a life sentence, as it would have backed up the mitigating factors they had presented and countered the prosecution’s claim that McLaughlin acted with the depravity of mind, that her actions were especially brutal or “wantonly vile.” This was the only aggravating factor the jury found.

According to court documents, in 2016, a federal judge revoked McLaughlin’s death sentence owing to ineffective counsel since her attorneys failed to offer that expert testimony at trial. Unfortunately, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals eventually reversed that decision.

McLaughlin’s execution, according to Komp, her attorney, “would highlight all the inadequacies of the justice system and would be a huge injustice on several levels.” This was previously said on CNN.

As Amber’s psychologist, Komp, explained, this “would continue the systemic failures that existed throughout her childhood,” in which no interventions took place to stop and intercede to protect Amber as a kid and teen. The worst possible things that might have happened to her did.

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