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For the first time since Florida reinstated the death penalty in 1970, the state has executed a White man accused of hate crimes for killing two men, one Black and one Latino. Fifty-three-year-old Mark James Asay was sentenced to death in 1988 for the murders of Robert Lee Booker and Robert McDowell, NBC News reports. Asay was executed using a three-drug injection formula that hasn’t yet been tested.

Asay was executed on August 24, two hours after the Supreme Court denied his appeal. Asay’s lawyers argued that he deserved reprieve because his latest appeals panel insinuated that he’d killed two black men rather than one. McDowell was Latino and white. Asay has consistently denied killing Booker. Asay has filed several appeals over the years. Asay told a local news station that if his appeal didn’t go through, it would be because “the Lord knows that my life here on earth will not be productive… I want out of prison, through the front door or the back.” 

One of Booker’s brothers, Frank Booker, told News4Jax  that he and his siblings had been waiting 30 years for this day. He said that some of the siblings have already passed away waiting for justice. “Justice, I feel, will be served.”


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