Florida executes first white man for the murder of a black man. Authorities pronounced him dead at 6:22 p.m. ET. according to Florida corrections.
CNN reports Asay had no last statement and did not speak or show any indication of pain during the execution. His demeanor earlier in the morning was calm, a Florida corrections department spokeswoman said.
For the first time in the U.S., the corrections department used a lethal injection during the execution. The execution happened without incident.
Earlier this week, Governor Eric Greitens granted a stay of the execution of Marcellus Williams. Williams, a black male was convicted of killing a white woman in St. Louis. Newly discovered evidence and an outpouring on social media convinced the Governor to halt the execution.
Per ABC News, “Asay, who is white, fatally shot Robert Lee Booker, 34, a black man, after making multiple racist comments” according to the prosecutors. Asay’s second victim was Robert McDowell, 26, who was both white and Hispanic. Prosecutors say Asay hired McDowell, who was dressed as a woman, for sex and shot him six times after discovering his gender.”
In an interview, Asay, states he is guilty of 2nd-degree murder of Robert McDowell however he did not kill Robert Lee Booker.
Youtube: 48 Hours Left Death Row Inmate Mark Asay, Victim’s Family Speak
“The planned execution–Florida’s first since the U.S. Supreme Court halted the practice in the state more than 18 months ago–is expected to be carried out using etomidate, an anesthetic that has been approved by the Florida Supreme Court. Two drugs also will be used.”
“Etomidate is the first of three drugs administered in Florida’s new execution cocktail. It is replacing midazolam, which has been harder to acquire after many drug companies began refusing to provide it for executions. The etomidate is followed by rocuronium bromide, a paralytic, and finally, potassium acetate, which stops the heart. It is Florida’s first time using potassium acetate; as well as the first time in Florida’s history to execute a white man for killing a black man.”
Asay’s final appeals were denied by the U.S. Supreme Court without comments. Doctors hired by Asay’s attorneys raised concerns about the drug etomidate, according to court declarations.
Since the death penalty was reinstated, at least 20 black men have been executed for killing white victims. According to data, taken from the Death Penalty fact sheet, there were 1458 executions since 1976.
Death Penalty Information Center: Facts about the Death Penalty
There are currently 31 states that have the death penalty; 19 states classified as non-death penalty states.
Death Row Inmates By Race:
Recent Studies on Race:
- Jurors in Washington state are three times more likely to recommend a death sentence for a black defendant than for a white defendant in a similar case. (Prof. K. Beckett, Univ. of Washington, 2014)
- In Lousiana, the odds of a death sentence were 97% higher for those victims was white than for those whose victim was black. (Pierce & Radelet, Louisiana Law Review, 2011)
- A study in California found that those convicted of killing whites were more than 3 times as likely to be sentenced to death as those convicted of killing blacks and more than 4 times more likely as those convicted of killing Latinos. (Pierce & Radelet, Santa Clara Law Review, 2005)
- A comprehensive study of the death penalty in North Carolina found that the odds of receiving a death sentence rose by 3.5 times among those defendants whose victims were white. (Prof. Jack Boger and Dr. Issace Unah, University of North Carolina, 2001)
In 96% of states where there have been reviews of race and the death penalty, there was a pattern of either race-of-victim or race-of-defendant discrimination or both. (Prof. Baldus report to the ABA, 1998.)
Death Row Executions By State:
Death Row Exonerations By State:
Florida’s Governor Rick Scott has allowed 25 executions during his term in office, the most under any governor in Florida history. The United States has now executed 1,459 people.