Gov. Scott Signs Death Warrant for man Convicted of Jacksonville Murders

by | Jul 3, 2017

The first execution in Florida in a year-and-a-half has been scheduled by Gov. Rick Scott.

Scott issued a death warrant Monday for Mark James Asay for the 1987 murders of Robert Lee Booker and Robert McDowell in Jacksonville.

Asay is scheduled to be executed August 24 at 6 p.m.

The last man to be executed in the state was Oscar Ray Boling on Jan. 7, 2016. He was condemned for the murders of three young women in the Tampa area in 1986.

Five days after Boling’s execution, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Florida’s death penalty by an 8-1 decision.

Under the old procedures, the judge had the final say as to whether a person should be sentenced to death in capital cases. The court ruled that giving judges the final say violated a person’s right to trial by jury.

The Legislature rewrote the law and gave the jury control as to whether a person should be given the death penalty. But, the law only required that 10 of the 12 jurors must agree.

The Florida Supreme Court struck down the new law saying jury decisions in capital cases must be unanimous.

In March, the Legislature enacted a bill that was quickly signed into law by Scott that required unanimous jury decisions to decide the fate of someone convicted of murder.

Asay’s death warrant is the first to be signed under the new law.




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