After months of legal and legislative maneuvering, the state of Florida has scheduled the first execution since January 2016.
Mark James Asay was scheduled last week to be put to death at 6 P.M. on August 24 in Florida’s death chamber. He was convicted in late 1988 of killing two men in Duval county in July of the previous year.
Asay’s original execution date was in March 2016, but a U.S. Supreme Court ruling threw Florida’s death penalty system into turmoil and temporarily halted all scheduled executions, including that of Asay. Months of wrangling between the state judiciary and legislature ensued, finally ending in December with a decision to go forward with death sentences handed down prior to the summer of 2002.
Although Governor Scott could have signed Asay’s death warrant when justices lifted the stay of execution then in place on Asay, his office gave no explanation regarding the reason the governor did not do so before now.
Florida currently houses 362 inmates who are sentenced to die, which is the lowest number of condemned men the state has had since 2004. Experts believe that number is likely to fall even more as the holding of Hurst is applied to post-2002 death sentences, with court watchers expecting to see up to 150 death sentences to be either reversed or remanded for new sentencing.
If Asay’s death sentence is carried out, his execution will be the first in Florida since the lethal injection death of Oscar Bolin.
The Law Offices of Bjorn Brunvand have been representing people charged with capital murder, felony drug charges, drunk driving, government fraud, and white-collar crimes for over a quarter century. Contact our office today to discuss your Tampa Bay-area state or federal charges.