Missouri: Scott/Amber McLaughlin executed – first execution 2023 hits transwoman
On Tuesday evening, 49-year-old transwoman Amber McLaughlin was executed by lethal injection in the US state of Missouri. As a man and using the name Scott, McLaughlin had stalked, raped and murdered his ex-girlfriend in 2003.
In her final words, Amber McLaughlin expressed, “I am sorry for what I did. I am a loving and caring person.” The governor of Missouri, however, found no cause for a pardon.
McLaughlin’s lawyers had said the jury had been unable to agree on a sentence, so had not voted unanimously for the death penalty. As a result, a district judge had set the death sentence. Except in Missouri, only in Indiana is it possible for a judge to overrule the jury if it fails to reach a unanimous verdict.
In addition, jurors had not learned about McLaughlin’s traumatic childhood, attorneys said. A foster parent had smeared feces on her face as a toddler, they said, and her adoptive father had drugged her with a stun gun. She suffered from depression and had tried to take her own life several times, they said.
According to the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC), there has been no known case of an openly transgender inmate being executed in the United States.