Florida Man Will Be First To Die Under New Lethal Injection Protocol

by Antonio Miles August 25, 2017, 1:26
Florida Man Will Be First To Die Under New Lethal Injection Protocol

If his final appeals are denied by the U.S. Supreme Court, 53-year-old Mark Asay is to die by lethal injection after 6 p.m. Thursday. Asay was convicted by a jury of two racially motivated murders in Jacksonville, Fla., back in 1987.

Mary Asay was convicted of two racially motivated murders in 1987.

Florida last executed a prisoner in January of 2016. According to prosecutors, 23-year-old Asay shot Robert Lee Booker, who was black, and Robert McDowell, whom Asay had found dressed in women's clothes after agreeing to pay for sex. Asay has no other pending petitions with the Supreme Court.

In a recent jailhouse interview with a local TV station, he claimed he shot McDowell without premeditation during a drunken "meltdown" and insisted he didn't kill Booker.

"This is the department's most solemn duty and the foremost objective of the lethal injection procedure is a humane and dignified process". This is the first time Florida will execute a white person for killing a black person since the death penalty was reinstated in the U.S.in 1976, according to data collected by the Death Penalty Information Center.

Asay's lawyers argued that he would experience severe pain during the execution, violating the constitutional protection against cruel and unusual punishment, but Florida's highest court said he failed to show that was likely. Asay had challenged the state's use of the drug etomidate, a sedative that has not been used before in USA executions.

Mark Asay is to die by lethal injection after 6 p.m. Thursday Aug. 23 2017. Asay was convicted by a jury of two racially motivated premeditated murders in Jacksonville in 1987
Florida Supreme Court Admits to Mistake But Clears Record 24th Execution on Scott's Watch

Florida has executed 92 prisoners since 1976 making it the fourth biggest judicial killer in the USA behind Texas, Virginia and Oklahoma.

Asay then appealed based on the new drug cocktail that would be used, but that was also rejected, with officials defending the use of the new drugs despite reservations about their use.

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to block the execution of a Florida man scheduled for Thursday evening.

While condemning the "heinous" murders, the bishops called for a life sentence without parole instead of the death penalty. Judge James Perry, himself an African American, noted this when Mr Asay unsuccessfully appealed his death penalty in the Florida Supreme Court previous year. "We do not support the use of our medicines for indications that have not been approved by regulatory authorities", spokesman Greg Panico told The Washington Post. Now, dozens of death row inmates in the state are eligible to be re-sentenced -but only those who were sentenced before 2002, so Asay does not qualify.

Asay's brother, who was also an eyewitness to Booker's murder, testified that Asay said, "You know you ain't got to take no shit from these fucking niggers", before shooting Booker.

Mr Asay has exhausted his legal options and his fate is all but sealed - but the Florida executions won't stop with him.

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