• Thu. Feb 9th, 2023

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First transgender inmate in the US is set to die by lethal injection for raping and stabbing ex-girlfriend to death in 2003 before transitioning in prison

Jan 3, 2023

The first openly transgender woman on death row is set to be executed today for raping and murdering her ex-girlfriend whose body she dumped by a Missouri river. 

 

Amber McLaughlin, 49, who transitioned in prison, will die by lethal injection 19 years after she killed Beverly Guenther, 45, who had taken out a restraining order and regularly had police officers walk her to her car out of fear for her life.  

 

Before transitioning in 2019, she went by the name Scott McLaughlin.

 

First transgender inmate in the US is set to die by lethal?injection for raping and stabbing ex-girlfriend to death in 2003 before transitioning in prison

Victim: Beverly Guenther, 45, 

 

The execution is set to be the first death of a transgender person in the U.S.

 

It comes less than a month after the inmate asked Missouri Governor Mike Parson to spare her from death due to ‘mental health issues.’ 

 

McLaughlin killed Guenther on November 20, 2003, and dumped her body in St. Louis, near the Mississippi River. 

 

First transgender inmate in the US is set to die by lethal?injection for raping and stabbing ex-girlfriend to death in 2003 before transitioning in prison

 

Formerly Scott, McLaughlin was sentenced to death by a judge in 2006 as a persistent offender to consecutive terms of death for first-degree murder, life for armed criminal action, and life for forcible rape. 

 

‘It’s wrong when anyone’s executed regardless, but I hope that this is a first that doesn’t occur,’ federal public defender Larry Komp, who represents McLaughlin, said. 

 

Komp said Monday there are no court appeals pending but they are hoping Gov. Parson grants clemency after a petition was filed in December. 

 

‘Amber has shown great courage in embracing who she is as a transgender woman in spite of the potential for people reacting with hate, so I admire her display of courage,’ Komp said.

 

A spokesperson for Governor Parson said the review process for the clemency request is still underway. 

 

‘These are not decisions that the Governor takes lightly,’ the spokesperson said in an email in December. 

 

The petition filed by Komp also includes reports citing a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, a condition that causes anguish and other symptoms as a result of a disparity between a person´s gender identity and their assigned sex at birth.

 

‘We think Amber has demonstrated incredible courage because I can tell you there´s a lot of hate when it comes to that issue,’ her attorney, Larry Komp, said Monday. 

 

But, Komp said, McLaughlin’s sexual identity is ‘not the main focus’ of the clemency request.

 

The petition filed in December cited the prisoner’s traumatic childhood and mental health issues.