Mark James Asay, a Florida inmate was the first to be executed since January of 2016. His execution via lethal injection was scheduled by Florida authorities on Thursday.

The untested drug

Mark James Asay was executed using a drug that was never before used in the U.S. Asay was the very first white inmate to be executed in Florida because of a murder of a black man, Reuters reported. According to the death penalty Information Center, the death penalty was revived in the state in 1979.

Prior to his execution, Justice Barbara Pariente wrote that Asay was being treated similar to a guinea pig or in exact words, she said "the proverbial guinea pig" according to Daily Mail UK.

All of this is because of the fact that the lethal drug they'll be using is said to be untested, and that would violate the constitutional protection against cruel and unusual punishment. This drug is referred to as the etomidate.

Some states across the U.S. including Florida needs to find a replacement for the drugs that are unavailable because of companies who take a stand against the death penalty.

Pfizer, Inc. stopped manufacturing midazolam just a year ago to prevent authorities from using it in executions. Florida then found etomidate as a replacement for midazolam though it still remained untested until the administering of the drug to Asay.

According to Reuters, "Etomidate, an anesthesia invented in Belgium in the 1960s by Janssen, now a division of U.S.-based Johnson & Johnson, is off patent."

Janssen responded to an email by Reuters and said that they don't condone the usage of their medicinal products as lethal injections for death penalties.

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Janssen stopped manufacturing and distributing the drug last year.

Asay's case

In 1988, Mark James Asay murdered two men that resided in Jacksonville. He was then sentenced to death by the Supreme Court.

These two men that Asay killed were named Robert Lee Booker and Robert McDowell. According to Reuters and the court records, Booker was shot in the stomach after getting into an argument with Asay.

Robert McDowell, on the other hand, was shot in his chest multiple times. Asay then said that the root of this killing is that McDowell cheated on him and it cost him $10.

It was January 2016 when Governor Rick Scott issued Mark James Asay a death warrant. It was then later condemned by the U.S. Supreme Court because it should be them, "the court and juries and not judges who decide whether an individual is eligible for execution."