Thursday, 27 Feb 2020

New drug used in lethal injection for execution in US

Florida [U.S.A.] August 25 : A convict here has been executed using a drug in lethal injection that has never been used in the United States.

Fifty-three-old Mark Asay was reportedly executed using etomidate as one of three drugs in the lethal injection. This is the first time etomidate has been used in execution.

Etomidate substituted midazolam, a drug that has become harder to get because some drug manufacturers don't want it used in executions.

Etomidate, an intravenous anesthetic, was invented by scientists from Janssen Pharmaceuticals in the 1960s, CNN quoted Greg Panico, a spokesman for the company, as saying.

This month, the Florida Supreme Court rejected arguments from Asay's attorneys that the new drug would cause too much pain, according to WJAX. The state's highest court turned down a motion to block the execution, saying the inmate had not shown it would lead to more pain.

Asay was convicted in 1988 of the racially motivated murders of two men in Jacksonville the previous year.

A jury found him guilty of killing Robert Lee Booker -- who was black -- and Robert McDowell. Before he shot Booker, he called him a racial epithet, according to CNN affiliate WJAX.

Prosecutors say he killed McDowell, who was dressed as a woman, after saying he would pay him for sex, the station reported.

The execution marks Florida's first since a US Supreme Court ruling temporarily halted the practice in early 2016, saying the state's sentencing process was unconstitutional because it gave judges, rather than juries, too much power in deciding whether to execute an inmate, reported CNN.

The US Supreme Court on Thursday had denied a stay of execution request for Asay, and was scheduled to die by injection after 6 p.m. ET. Asay had no other pending petitions with the Supreme Court.

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

(ANI | 3 years ago)