New ‘cocktail’ used in execution
THE state of Florida on Thursday executed its first death row inmate in nearly two years, using a lethal injection cocktail that had never been tried before in the US.
Mark Asay, 53, was sentenced to death in 1988 for a racially motivated double murder in Jacksonville, Florida a year earlier.
The execution was carried out at 6.22 pm , the Florida Department of Corrections said.
For his last meal, Asay ordered fried pork chops, fried ham, fries, vanilla swirl ice cream and Coca-Cola, authorities said. He did not make a final statement.
Earlier this month, the Florida Supreme Court denied a stay of execution for Asay, who had challenged the state’s plan to employ a lethal injection cocktail that includes etomidate, an anesthetic never before used in carrying out an execution in the US.
It replaces another drug, midazolam, which has been the subject of significant legal wrangling.
According to critics, midazolam does not always adequately sedate prisoners, therefore subjecting them to excessive suffering.
Corrections department spokeswoman Ashley Cook told AFP the department “follows the law and carries out the sentence of the court.” “This is the department’s most solemn duty and the foremost objective of the lethal injection procedure is a humane and dignified process,” Cook said.
Asay was the first prisoner to be executed in Florida since January 2016, before the state’s supreme court ruled Florida executions were unconstitutional.
Janssen, a pharmaceutical division of the company Johnson & Johnson, developed etomidate and has objected to its use in executions.
EXECUTED: Mark Asay was sentenced to death in 1988 for the racially motivated double murder a year earlier of a black man. He was executed with a new cocktail of drugs.