A Missouri inmate has been executed, becoming the first openly transgender woman to be executed in the United States.
Amber McLaughlin, 49, was convicted of stalking and killing her ex-girlfriend before dumping her body near the Mississippi River in St. Louis.
McLaughlin’s fate was sealed earlier Tuesday when Gov. Mike Parson denied a clemency request.
She was pronounced dead minutes after a lethal dose of phenobarbital was administered and she spoke quietly with a spiritual advisor at her side.
“I am sorry for what I did,” McLaughlin said in his final written statement. “I am a loving and caring person.”
A database on the website of the Anti-Death Penalty Information Center shows that 1,558 people have been executed since the U.S. reinstated the death penalty in the mid-1970s.
Only 17 of those executed were men.The center says there are no previous known cases of openly transgender prisoners implementMcLaughlin began transitioning at the state prison in Potosí about three years ago.
The clemency plea on behalf of McLaughlin focuses on several issues, including her childhood trauma and mental health issues, which the jury never heard about during her trial.
It said she had suffered from depression, attempted suicide multiple times and had been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, a condition that causes distress and other symptoms due to a difference between a person’s gender identity and the sex assigned at birth.