CRIME

Florida uses new drug to execute man convicted of 2 murders

Florida has put a convicted double-murderer to death with an anesthetic never used before in a U.S. lethal injection.

Authorities said 53-year-old Mark Asay, the first white man executed in Florida for the killing of a black man, was pronounced dead at 6:22 p.m. Thursday at the state prison in Starke. Asay received a three-drug injection that began with an anesthetic called etomidate.

Though approved by the Florida Supreme Court, etomidate has been criticized by some as being unproven in an execution. Etomidate replaced midazolam, which became harder to acquire after many drug companies began refusing to provide it for executions.

Prosecutors say Asay made racist comments in the 1987 fatal shooting of a 34-year-old black man, Robert Lee Booker. Asay also was convicted of the 1987 murder of 26-year-old Robert McDowell, who was mixed race, white and Hispanic.