Jacksonville man scheduled as first Florida execution in 18 months

04 Juillet, 2017, 16:22 | Author: Come Portier
  • Mark Asay is on Florida’s Death Row for the murders of Robert Mc Dowell and Robert Lee Booker in Duval County

Five days later, the U.S. Supreme Court released a decision deeming the method Florida used to sentence people to death unconstitutional.

Rick Scott has scheduled the state's first execution in more than 18 months. But after more than a year of wrangling in the state Legislature and the courts, Scott is picking up where he left off. This spring, lawmakers again amended the state's death penalty statute, this time mandating unanimous jury recommendations in capital sentencing cases.

But courts have also held that the new standard only applies to defendants whose cases came after a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2002, Ring v. Arizona, in which the court first required juries in capital cases to be unanimous. But the new execution date could also be problematic. But because his sentence was finalized well before the 2002 Ring decision, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that it is constitutional and that he is not entitled to a new sentencing hearing. The court is scheduled to issue its first set of rulings after a month-long summer break on August 31.

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Mark Asay's case is one that became a focus as the state reworked its rules around death penalty sentencing. The move to the new drugs in Florida -- never before used in lethal injection procedures, according to national experts -- is nearly certain to spur additional litigation, generally launched by the first inmate scheduled to undergo a new protocol, which in this instance would be Asay.

Asay was convicted in 1988 of the murders of Robert Lee Booker and Robert McDowell in downtown Jacksonville. Asay allegedly shot Booker, who was black, after calling him a racial epithet.

Asay's case was fully settled before Ring, so he is among those who were denied a re-sentencing. Numerous records related to Asay's case provided by Bonner were destroyed by insects or exposure to the elements, according to court records filed by McClain.

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