Manuel Pardo Jr, Former Sweetwater Police Officer, Scheduled for Death Row Execution
A former South Florida police officer is scheduled for execution on Tuesday evening for killing nine people in 1986.
The lethal injection for Manuel Pardo Jr., 56-years old, is set for 6:00pm Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at the Florida State Prison in Starke, unless he wins an appeal.
On Friday, Pardo's lawyers argued and fought for the block in his execution saying "state courts failed to provide a meaningful review of his challenge to changes in Florida's three-drug lethal injection cocktail."
They argued in federal appeals that Manuel Pardo Jr. is mentally ill. This is something his attorney has believed for more than two decades. Pardo's lawyers contend psychiatric and competency information about Pardo was never forwarded to the state Executive Clemency Board.
The state has argued back that Pardo's constitutional rights were not violated.
Manual Pardo who is a former Boy Scout and Navy veteran, began his law enforcement career in the 1970's with the Florida Highway Patrol. He was fired in 1979 from the agency for falsifying traffic tickets. He was soon hired by the police department in Sweetwater.
He was fired four years later for lying when he flew to the Bahamas to testify at the trial of a Sweetwater co-worker who was being accused of drug smuggling. Pardo told the court they were international undercover agents.
Early 1986, Pardo committed a series of robberies and then killed six men and three women. Pardo got caught and was linked to the killings after he was using credit cards from the victims he killed. He became fascinated with Adolf Hitler and was collecting Nazi memorabilia.
His victims were involved in drugs and Pardo said that he was doing the world a favor by killing them off; saying he was "ridding the streets of the scum of the earth."
Pardo insisted on testifying at his own trial, and told the jurors that he enjoyed killing people and wished he could have murdered more, "They’re parasites and they’re leeches, and they have no right to be alive. Somebody had to kill these people."
In his 1988 trial, Manuel Pardo told the jurors, "I am a soldier, I accomplished my mission and I humbly ask you to give me the glory of ending my life and not send me to spend the rest of my days in state prison."
He is now getting what he asked for. Lawyer Ronald Guralnick said recently about Pardo state of mind to ask for death on trial, "I think that anyone who would get up and ask a jury sentence him to death is insane."
Florida Catholic bishops are opposing the execution of Manuel Pardo Jr. While the Catholic church recognizes the state has any right to carry out the death penalty, they find it unnecessary. The Florida Catholic bishops believe that Manuel Pardo should receive life in prison without parole instead of the death execution he will be receiving on Tuesday night.
The Florida Catholic bishops released a statement saying, "Our society is increasingly aware of the flaws of the use of the death penalty including the risk of executing an innocent person, failure as a deterrent and high costs associated with executions as well as the emotional toll on the victims’ families. The death penalty in Florida should be reviewed, as it has in several states in light of evolving standards of justice."
"As a sign of solidarity with all those around the state in prayer during the time of the execution, the bishops have called for a special prayer vigil to be held on December 11, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. at St. Mary Cathedral, 7525 N. W. 2nd Avenue, Miami, Florida."