Amber McLaughlin (Photo courtesy of the Missouri Department of Corrections)

Missouri is scheduled to execute a transgender inmate next week for the 2003 kidnapping, raping, and killing of Beverly Guenther in Earth City. Scott McLaughlin, who now goes by Amber, would be the first transgender person executed in the United States if the execution moves forward on January 3.

McLaughlin has been in prison since about 2006. Missouri Department of Corrections Spokesperson Karen Pojmann said McLaughlin began identifying as transgender about 18 months ago but has not pursued a legal name change.

What does Missouri provide to inmates who want to transition to the opposite sex? Pojmann said the state provides hormone therapy and gender-affirming items to transgender prisoners. It does not cover sex change surgery.

McLaughlin has asked Gov. Mike Parson to block the execution. In other media reports, the transgender woman contends that she is mentally ill and therefore should be spared of the death penalty.

The execution could be carried out during a 24-hour window beginning at 6 p.m. on January 3. Missourinet is scheduled to be a state witness to the execution.

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