On Thursday, August 24th, Florida broke its own history. The state, for the first time ever, executed a white man for killing a black man since the death penalty was reinstated 47 years ago.
Fifty-three-year-old Mark James Asay – a former white supremacist gang member – was executed by lethal injection for two racially motivated, and premeditated murders he committed on the same day in Jacksonville in 1987. He was convicted by a jury in 1988 with a vote of nine to three.
His two victims were Robert Lee Booker, 34, (African American) and Roger McDowell, 26, (white-Hispanic). After making multiple racial comments, Booker was shot, prosecuters said.
McDowell was a cross-dresser who was white and Hispanic at the time of his Murder.
According to officials, Asay hired McDowell for oral sex and shot him six times once he discovered his gender.
Even though Asay is the first white man to be executed in Florida for killing a Black man, there have been at least 20 Black men who have been executed for killing white victims since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, according to research from the Death Penalty Information Center.
Asay was pronounced dead at 6:22pm at the state prison at Starke. His death was made up of a three-drug injections that started with anesthetic and etomida.