The state of Florida has executed Mark James Asay, a prisoner who was convicted of committing a racially motivated murder, with the use of an experimental lethal injection formula.
Asay, 53, was a white male who was found guilty of killing a black man. He was pronounced dead last Thursday, Aug. 24 at 6:22 p.m. at the state prison in Starke, NBC News confirmed.
Asay had been filing an appeal for his death sentence but was constantly turned down by judges. However, Judge Barbara Pariente said that the state violated Asay's fundamental constitutional rights by giving him an untested mixture of lethal drugs. The said judge also likened Asay to a "proverbial guinea pig" because of it.
The reason behind Florida's use of an experimental lethal injection was because access to certain drugs has been limited due to protesters against capital punishment who forced pharmaceuticals to go out of the business of selling deadly drugs.
Asay was given a total of three drugs for his death sentence. The first drug was a short-acting sedative etomidate. The second one was a paralytic, while the third shot contained a drug that was accidentally discovered as one that can stop hearts from functioning.
The prisoner's lawyers contested the method and said that Asay would end up experiencing extreme pain, which violates the law against cruel and unruly punishment. However, the highest court of Florida ruled against Asay's lawyers because they failed to show that their argument was accurate.
An expert on lethal injection from UC Berkeley Law, Jen Moreno, came forward and said that Florida's execution of Asay was alarming.
"It is concerning that the Florida courts are allowing this execution to go forward without requiring the Department of Corrections to produce key information about the safety and efficacy of state's new lethal injection protocol and drugs — information that was provided after previous protocol changes," Moreno explained.
Asay is the first prisoner that Florida has executed in almost two years.