FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – August 22, 2017 CONTACT: Mark Elliott, FADP Director, (727) 215-9646, [email protected]
FLORIDA – Nearly 30 vigils and protests are planned statewide around the scheduled execution of Mark Asay on August 24 at 6PM ET for the killing of Robert Booker and Robert McDowell 30 years ago. For a list, please see the FADP Vigil and Protest Page.
This execution would mark many “firsts” including:
The first Florida execution in the eighteen months since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Florida’s non-unanimous death sentencing scheme unconstitutional in Hurst v. Florida. The jury recommendation for death in both of Asay’s convictions was 9-3, not unanimous.
This would be a new record for most executions overseen by a Florida governor in modern times (24).
The first time in our nation’s history that the drug etomidate will be used in a lethal injection execution and the first intentional use of potassium acetate (it was previously used in an Oklahoma execution by mistake).
The first execution of a white person for killing an African American in the history of Florida, dating back before statehood (over 170 years and hundreds of executions). Mark Asay is white and one of the victims (Robert Booker) was black.
Responding to Mark Asay’s scheduled execution, Mark Elliott, director of Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty stated:
“Florida continues the premeditated and unnecessary killing of well-secured captive prisoners.”
“Governor Rick Scott may be attempting to create the illusion of an ‘Equal Opportunity’ state program for executions by ordering and overseeing the killing of Mark Asay, who is white, for killing Robert Booker, who is black.”
“This does nothing to change the 170 year long history of Florida not executing whites for killing blacks.”
Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (FADP) is a non-profit and non-partisan Florida organization of individuals and groups united to abolish the Death Penalty in Florida
Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty www.fadp.org