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Openly transgender woman executed for first time in US history

Wednesday, 04 January, 2023, 22:12
Openly transgender woman executed for first time in US history

An inmate in Missouri has been put to death - becoming the first openly transgender woman to be executed in the US.

Amber McLaughlin, 49, was convicted of stalking and killing a former girlfriend, then dumping the body near the Mississippi River in the city of St Louis.

McLaughlin's fate was sealed earlier on Tuesday when state governor Mike Parson declined a clemency request.

She spoke quietly with a spiritual adviser at her side as the fatal dose of phenobarbital was injected, and was pronounced dead a few minutes later.

"I am sorry for what I did," McLaughlin said in a final written statement. "I am a loving and caring person."

The clemency request on behalf of McLaughlin had focussed on several issues, including her traumatic childhood and mental health issues, which the jury never heard in her trial.

It said she suffered from depression, attempted suicide multiple times and had been diagnosed with 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.

A database on the website for the anti-execution Death Penalty Information Centre shows 1,558 people have been executed since the death penalty was reinstated in the US in the mid-1970s.

All but 17 of those put to death were men. The centre said there are no known previous cases of an openly transgender inmate being executed. McLaughlin began transitioning about three years ago at the state prison in Potosi.