Stop the Execution of Amber McLaughlin in Missouri

Governor Mike Parson

Amber McLaughlin is scheduled for execution in Missouri on January 3, 2023 for the 2003 murder of Beverly Guenther. The following information was gathered by our partners at Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. (Death warrant issued under the name Scott McLaughlin)

Amber McLaughin's death sentence is unconstitutional because it was decided by a St. Louis County judge after a jury could not conclude that she deserves the ultimate punishment. Amber will be killed by the state of Missouri on January 3rd, 2023 unless we move Governor Parson to commute her sentence to life.

Please sign and share this petition today asking Governor Parson to commute the sentence to Life.

  • Amber was subjected to extreme abuse and neglect during her childhood resulting in mild neurological brain damage.
  • The jury never heard evidence to prove that Amber was experiencing a major depressive episode at the time of the crime.
  • Even so, after hearing all the evidence, the jurors could not unanimously conclude on a death sentence (hung jury).
  • Missouri has a loophole that allows a trial judge to overrule a deadlocked jury and impose a sentence of death.
  • Amber is one of six individuals living under a death sentence imposed by former St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCullouch, who is now known to have been corrupt and who overused his sentencing powers to put people to death. St. Louis County is the 6th most executing county in the nation, and McCullouch is largely responsible.

Please sign and share this petition to Governor Parson asking him to commute Amber’s sentence to Life.

Amber’s childhood was marked with abuse and neglect. She was bounced among foster homes until she was placed with her adoptive parents, the McLaughlins, at age five. She unfortunately continued to suffer abuse at the hands of her adoptive parents. Her adoptive father was a police officer and would use his taser and nightstick on her and her siblings. The McLaughlins would also lock the cabinets so the children could not eat. Amber and her childhood friends referred to their house as “the house of horrors.”’

Amber’s psychological problem began when she was nine years old. She was subjected to intelligence testing because of recurring poor performance and behavior at school. The testing showed a full-scale IQ of 82, which is in the low average range, and resulted in diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, mild neurological brain damage, learning disabilities, and “adjustment reaction of childhood with depressive features.

Amber’s childhood of extreme physical and mental abuse caused her to become a mentally and physically unstable adult. Please sign this petition and ask Governor Parson for mercy.

Although Amber’s childhood abuse resulted in mental illness, her counsel failed to present this evidence at her trial. Amber’s attorney failed to present psychiatric evidence regarding her state of mind at the time of the crime, which would have neutralized the aggravating factor the jury found. Dr. Caruso had the mitigating evidence to prove that Amber was under the influence of extreme mental or emotional despair and was experiencing a major depressive episode at the time of the crime.

This testimony could have neutralized the aggravating factor the jury did find at the time of trial.

Deadlock jury. After hearing all the evidence, the jurors could not unanimously conclude that Amber should be sentenced to death. They weren’t convinced that Amber deserved the most severe punishment the justice system can offer. But because of Missouri’s legal loophole, the trial judge was able to overrule the deadlock jury and impose a death sentence for Amber.

Friend, this is a gross misuse of judicial power. A jury of our peers, not an individual, is supposed to determine justice. Please sign and share this petition today.

Missouri is one of two states allowing a judge to issue a sentence of death when the jury did not. This is a clear constitutional violation and a total overreach of the judicial branch (Ring v Arizona), (Hurst v Florida).

In continuing to schedule executions, Missouri makes itself an outlier in its use of the death penalty. In fact, since the pandemic began, Missouri has been one of only a handful of states that has carried out an execution since 2020.

The majority of other states are on a downward trend of executions, and increasingly, states are abolishing the practice altogether, including the southern state of Virginia, which repealed its death penalty law in 2021.

Please sign the petition asking Governor Mike Parson to do everything within his power to stop this execution, including issuing a stay, and seeking a path to clemency in the case.

Petitions will be delivered on your behalf in the days leading up to the execution.

Sponsored by

To: Governor Mike Parson
From: [Your Name]

Amber McLaughlin​ is scheduled for execution in Missouri on January 3, 2023 for the 2003 murder of Beverly Guenther​.

* Amber was subjected to extreme abuse and neglect during her childhood resulting in mild neurological brain damage.
* The jury never heard evidence to prove that Amber was experiencing a major depressive episode at the time of the crime.
* Even so, after hearing all the evidence, the jurors could not unanimously conclude on a death sentence (hung jury).
* Missouri has a loophole that allows a trial judge to overrule a deadlocked jury and impose a sentence of death.
* Amber is one of six individuals living under a death sentence imposed by former St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCullouch, who is now known to have been corrupt and who overused his sentencing powers to put people to death. St. Louis County is the 6th most executing county in the nation, and McCullouch is largely responsible.

In continuing to schedule executions, Missouri makes itself an outlier in its use of the death penalty. In fact, since the pandemic began, Missouri has been one of only a handful of states that has carried out an execution since 2020.

The majority of other states are on a downward trend of executions, and increasingly, states are abolishing the practice altogether, including the southern state of Virginia, which repealed its death penalty law in 2021.

Please do everything within your power to stop this execution, including issuing a stay, and seeking a path to clemency in the case.

Thank you for your time and attention to this serious matter.