OAN Annyatama Bhomik
UPDATED 2:30 PM PT – Wednesday, January 4, 2023
The Missouri Department of Corrections has carried out its execution of transgender inmate Amber McLaughlin. The inmate was formerly known as Scott McLaughlin prior to the transitioning.
McLaughlin is the first transgender woman executed in the United States.
The execution was carried out at 6:39 p.m. at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre, Missouri on Tuesday.
The act was administered via lethal injection and McLaughlin was declared dead by 6:51 p.m. McLaughlin had been delivered a final meal of a cheeseburger, fries, strawberry milkshake, and peanut M&Ms.
“I am sorry for what I did. I am a loving and caring person.” read the final statement of the 49-year-old that was submitted to the DOC on January 1st.
McLaughlin was convicted and sentenced to death for the 2003 brutal rape and murder of Beverly Guenther.
Governor Mike Parson had rejected her request for clemency even though the jury was never told about McLaughlin’s horrific childhood or the mental health problems she faced, during her trial.
According to the petition when she was a toddler, her foster dad had put feces in her face and her adoptive father had tasered her. It also mentioned extreme depression that led to numerous attempts at suicide as a child and an adult.
Following the execution, Governor Mike Parson (R-Miss.) issued a statement, choosing to utilize McLaughlin’s deceased name.
“Today, the State of Missouri carried out Scott McLaughlin’s sentence as ordered by the Missouri Supreme Court,” he said. “McLaughlin terrorized Ms. Guenther in the final years of her life, but we hope her family and loved ones may finally have some peace.”
Annie Wedepohl along with her husband Al, were the only two witnesses present for the execution. The two were Guenther’s younger brother and sister-in-law respectively.
Wedepohl, a nurse by profession stated that she broke into pieces as she was thinking about Guenther.
“To me, it was unremarkable. It was a very humane way. I think, to me, it was too humane.” She further described the process as “quick and peaceful,” similar to seeing a family member sedated for surgery.
According to state officials, McLaughlin had a spiritual advisor, the Rev. Lauren Bennett, by his side during the execution.