Florida executes death-row inmate using a new drug

Florida executes white supremacist convicted of racially motivated murders in 1987

Mark Asay
Mark Asay

 A white supremacist convicted of racially motivated murders three decades ago in Florida has been executed by lethal injection.

Mark Asay is the first white man in state history to be executed for killing a black victim, the BBC reports.

The 53-year-old had been found guilty of two 1987 racially motivated murders in Jacksonville. A jury found him guilty of killing Robert Lee Booker – who was black – and Robert McDowell a white-Hispanic man whom Asay hired for sex but shot him after discovering his gender.

Since the state reinstated death sentences in 1976, 20 black men have been executed for killing white victims, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

He was executed with etomidate, an anaesthetic never before used for a US execution, which will replace midazolam, a drug abandoned over fears that it was causing unnecessary suffering.

Amnesty International on Thursday condemned Florida for its use of the death penalty.

"It's too late for Mark Asay, but Florida still has a chance to be on the right side of history by commuting the sentences of all other death row prisoners and ending capital punishment once and for all," the statement said.

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