New ‘cock­tail’ used in ex­e­cu­tion

The Weekend Post - - World -

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.

Pic­ture: AFP

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.

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