Originally published on August 24, 2017 7:29 pm
Florida executed Thursday evening convicted inmate Mark Asay, breaking the state's year and a half hiatus for the death penalty.
Asay was pronounced dead at 6:22 p.m., after the lethal injection process started 11 minutes early. The execution appeared to go without a problem, despite concerns by Asay’s lawyers that the state was inappropriately using a brand new drug its lethal injection process. It was the first time Etomidate was used to execute a person in the United States.
Asay, 53, was convicted of the 1987 murders of Robert Booker and Robert McDowell on the same night in Jacksonville. Prosecution alleged the shooting death of Booker was racially motivated, and that Asay used a racial epithet to justify the killing. He was found guilty by a non-unanimous jury.
Etomidate, an anesthetic, replaces midazolam as the antisthetic, first drug used to knock Asay out as part of Florida's death penalty protocol. The second, drug, rocuronium bromide, was the second drug, which was intended to paralyze Asay. The final drug, potassium acetate, causes cardiac arrest.
Midazolam becamse difficult for the state to obtain, as many lethal injection drugs have become over the past few years since major drug companies have issued directives that their drugs are not to be used for killing people.
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