Man Executed Using Experimental New Lethal Injection Drug
A double murderer has been executed using a drug never before used in the US.
Mark Asay was convicted for the 1987 murders of Robert Lee Booker and Robert McDowell and was handed the death penalty.
Authorities said Asay was the first white man in Florida to be executed for the killing of a black man.
At his trial, prosecutors said Asay had shouted racist comments before killing 34-year-old African American Robert Lee Brooker and 26-year-old mixed race Robert McDowell.
Asay, who had white supremacist tattoos, admitted to killing
McDowell, but denied the other murder.
In his last interview yesterday, Asay claimed that the killings were something that 'got out of control'.
He told News4Jax: "Never have been [a white supremacist], I've had African American friends all my life." He also says that his racist tattoos came as a result of wanting to 'fit in' when he was imprisoned at the age of 19.
"Well, really, just that I'm sorry and things just got out of control," he said.
He was executed yesterday after a last meal of pork chops, fried ham, and French fries, followed by vanilla ice cream and a Coca-Cola. He had no final words.
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About a minute after the first of three drugs was given, Asay's feet jerked and his mouth opened, the Guardian reports.
He was pronounced dead at 6.22pm local time. According to the Mirror, Asay took 11 minutes to die, however, Florida corrections officials said there was 'no complication in the procedure'.
Asay was executed using a drug called etomidate, which has been criticised by some as being unproven for use in executions.
The US has struggled to find an alternative to lethal injection drugs midazolam, which has become harder to get hold of as many companies have now refused to offer it to be used for executions. Florida now uses etomidate, rocuronium bromide and potassium acetate, which stops the heart, to carry out its executions.
Doctors, hired by Asay's lawyers, said there were cases when etomidate, an anaesthetic, had been shown to cause pain and involuntary writhing in patients.
However, Florida's high court said four expert witnesses had found that Asay was only at 'a small risk of mild to moderate pain'.
Featured Image Credit: Florida Corrections
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