Amber McLaughlin will become the first openly transgender woman to be executed in the United States, if the last-minute appeal is not granted.
The 49-year-old was convicted in 2006 of first-degree murder after raping and killing her girlfriend, Beverly Guenther in 2003.
The jury was decided on a sentence but the judge overruled that McLaughlin would receive the death penalty. She is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection in a matter of hours, if the last-ditch appeal is not granted.
The petition, aimed at Missouri Governor Mike Parson, details McLaughlin’s abusive childhood which caused her to suffer with mental health issues.
McLaughlin’s attorney Larry Komp said:
“Amber McLaughlin never had a chance,”
“She was failed by the institutions, individuals and interventions that should have protected her, and her abusers obstructed the care she so desperately needed.”
“The consequences of the ever-present trauma and neglect, as well as her cognitive impairments impacted McLaughlin on a daily basis,”
“McLaughlin wrestled with depression leading to multiple suicide attempts as a child and an adult.”
McLaughlin’s victim had obtained a restraining order against her after their relationship ended. Police would often have to escort the inmate back to her car after she was found waiting for Guenther in her work building.
The 49-year-old then sexually assaulted and stabbed Guenther. The police were contacted after the victim’s neighbors became aware that she hadn’t come home.