Florida ex­e­cutes man us­ing new drug in lethal in­jec­tion

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - WORLD -

A 53-YEAR-OLD man con­victed of killing two men in 1987 was ex­e­cuted by Florida on Thurs­day evening by lethal in­jec­tion that in­cluded a drug never be­fore used in a US ex­e­cu­tion, state of­fi­cials said.

The ex­e­cu­tion was car­ried out at 6.22pm at the Florida State Prison in Brad­ford County, about 80km south­west of Jack­sonville, where the mur­ders took place.

Mark James Asay was the first white man to be put to death in Florida for killing a black man since the state re­in­stated the death penalty in 1979.

Asay was sen­tenced to death in 1988 for killing two men in sep­a­rate in­ci­dents on the same day a year ear­lier. Af­ter us­ing a racial slur dur­ing an ar­gu­ment, Asay shot Rob- ert Lee Booker in the belly. He killed Robert McDow­ell by shoot­ing him mul­ti­ple times in the chest. Asay said later he believed McDow­ell had cheated him out of $10.

Booker was black and McDow­ell was white.

Asay’s last meal had con­sisted of his re­quested fried ham, fried pork chops, french fries, vanilla swirl ice cream and a can of Coca-Cola, Florida Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tions spokes­woman Ash­ley Cook said.

Florida prison of­fi­cials said the drug eto­mi­date had been used in Asay’s ex­e­cu­tion. Eto­mi­date, an anes­the­sia, re­placed mi­da­zo­lam, which Pfizer Inc stopped mak­ing last year to keep it from be­ing used in ex­e­cu­tions. – Reuters

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