STOPPING THE DEATH OF MARK JAMES ASAY
This petition had 1,305 supporters
Mark James Asay was due to be put to death on St Patrick's Day in Florida. Mark Asay was sentenced to death in 1987 for the alleged murders of Robert Lee Booker and Robert McDowell. But there is still much uncertainly in terms of this case. Mark Asay is the second execution halted by the state's highest court after the US Supreme Court ruled Florida's death penalty laws unconstitutional in January. In its decision in Hurst vs Florida, the court forced the Legislature to rewrite state laws and cast doubt on existing death sentences. Mark Asay's attorney, Martin McClain, argued in court that everyone on Death Row should be resentenced to life in prison, due to this recent decision.
Martin McClain also argued that he hasn't had enough time to prepare a defense for Asay because he only became his lawyer on January 13 after Asay went 10 years without a lawyer representing him in state court. Asay did have a lawyer representing him in federal court for most of that time, but McClain argued many of the documents held by previous lawyers had been lost or destroyed and he was still waiting for documents up until the deadline required for him to file motions in the appeal. McClain also said that Circuit Judge Salvador denied a motion to delay the execution in February, reviewed documents sent to her by prosecutors without allowing McClain to examine them first.
It is now apparent that new evidence may also be in question. McClain also makes several arguments unique to Asay, saying the newly discovered evidence suggests Asay may not have been the man who killed Booker and McDowell because the jury at his original trial was told the bullets were from the same gun, but new evidence suggests it may have been two different guns, which diminishes the reliability of firearms evidence presented during the original trial.
With so much uncertainty in this case it would seem immoral and inappropriate to execute someone. And a more global resolution would be more fitting.
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