Amber McLaughlin, a 49-year-old inmate, was convicted of stalking and killing a former girlfriend before disposing of the body near the Mississippi River in St. Louis. Earlier on Tuesday, Republican Governor Mike Parson rejected a request for clemency, sealing McLaughlin's fate.
Death Penalty Information Center shows that 1,558 people have been executed since the death penalty was reinstated in the mid-1970s. "I am sorry for what I did," McLaughlin said in a final, written, statement. "I am a loving and caring person." Since the death penalty was reinstated in the United States in the mid-1970s, 1,558 people have been executed, according to the Death Penalty Information Center's database.
All but 17 of these individuals were men. McLaughlin, the first known transgender person to be executed in the country, began transitioning about three years ago while in prison at Potosi.
Clemency Denied for Inmate
McLaughlin's clemency petition, which was ultimately denied, highlighted the inmate's difficult childhood and mental health issues, including severe depression and multiple suicide attempts, as well as a diagnosis of gender dysphoria.
However, McLaughlin's attorney stated that the inmate's se*ual identity was not the main focus of the clemency request. In year 2003, McLaughlin was in a relationship with Beverly Guenther, who later obtained a restraining order after McLaughlin began showing up at her office and hiding inside the building.
On the night of November 20, 2003, when Guenther failed to return home, her neighbors called the police. Upon arriving at the office building, officers found a broken knife handle and a trail of blood. McLaughlin later led police to Guenther's body, which had been dumped near the Mississippi River in St.
Louis. The victim had been raped and stabbed repeatedly with a steak knife. McLaughlin was convicted of first-degree murder in 2006 and, after a jury deadlocked on the sentence, was sentenced to death by a judge. Missouri and Indiana are the only states that allow judges to impose the death penalty.