From [NyTimes] Mark James Asay, 53, was executed Thursday for what prosecutors called the racially motivated shooting of two men in Jacksonville three decades ago.
He became the first white man to be put to death for killing a black man since the state restored capital punishment in the 1970s, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.
Mr. Asay’s death by lethal injection is a landmark in other ways: It was the first time the drug, etomidate — part of a cocktail — was used in the United States for an execution, and the first execution since the Florida Legislature began requiring a unanimous jury recommendation.
Jurors in Mr. Asay’s case, which was decided before the legislative action, voted 9-3 for the death penalty.
“This was a case where the system failed in so many ways and on so many levels to get to the truth of what happened,” said Martin McClain, Mr. Asay’s lawyer, who had worked to get the United States Supreme Court to review the case.
In 1988, Mr. Asay was sentenced to death for the murders of Robert Lee Booker, 34, a black man, and Robert McDowell, 26, later identified as white and Hispanic, who dressed as a woman.
Prosecutors argued that Mr. Asay was a white supremacist who killed the men because of their race. The shootings were hours apart in downtown Jacksonville. Since the conviction, the victims’ families said they had been waiting for justice.
“I could have been fishing with him. I could have been hunting, something,” Frank Booker told the Jacksonville television station FirstCoastNews of his brother. “But due to circumstances I won’t be able to do that with him.” He added: “Why would we let someone who has killed two people under first degree, under racism, still be here on this earth?” [lol. Who is "we"? and you have no power to give life, how could you have power to take it?] [MORE]