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Application for Executive Clemency filed for Amber McLaughlin

(Jefferson City) - On December 12th, 2022, attorneys submitted an Application of Executive Clemency to Governor Michael Parson on behalf of Amber McLaughlin. They write, “Mercy is warranted for these compelling reasons.”

  • Amber McLaughlin’s life should be spared because the jury did not vote to impose the death penalty. Because a jury deadlocked on death, a sentence of life without parole would be more respectful of the jury’s position.

  • Amber has expressed genuine remorse consistently and almost immediately after this tragedy. These expressions of remorse are profoundly significant because her disabilities and brain injury makes it difficult for her to express emotion.

  • Amber’s traumatic childhood is marked by abandonment and abuse from before birth.

    • Amber was exposed to alcohol before birth, and the resulting brain impairment has been consistently noted.

    • Amber suffered at least three known instances of traumatic brain injury before her adoption at age five.

    • Amber’s adoptive home was described as a “house of horrors.” Amber was tased, beaten, and denied food while living with the McLaughlin family, who adopted her at the age of 5.

    • Children’s Services diagnosed as Borderline Intellectually Disabled. While teachers and counselors tried to help her without help from the adoptive parents, all interventions failed.

    • Amber has been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and has attempted suicide numerous times.

Amber is scheduled to be executed on the Tenth Day of Christmas. There has not been a Christmas execution in Missouri, ever. Attorneys for Amber write:

“Christmas is a time of spiritual reflection on the important foundations of the Christian faith. It’s also a celebration. It’s when Christians celebrate God’s love for the world through the birth of the Christ child: Jesus. Missouri should celebrate life and stop this Christmas execution.”

She was failed throughout her life by the very institutions designed to protect her. Amber McLaughlin never had a chance, and after a jury heard this information, they could not unanimously decide on the ultimate punishment. In Missouri, the powers of clemency lie solely in the hands of the Governor, and it’s quite clear that the circumstances of Amber’s life, and the constitutional violations in her case, support the need for executive clemency.

If you have not yet signed the petition for Amber, please do so today:

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