After he spent nearly 25 years on death row, the State of Florida has executed a former police officer who murdered nine people in 1986. Investigtors at the time said it was during a three month crime spree, and that most of the victims of Manuel Pardo were involved with drugs.
Department of Corrections spokeswoman Ann Howard said Pardo was pronounced dead at 7:47 last night. Pardo, 56, was put to death after a short delay over a last minute appeal. He was killed by lethal injection at Florida State Prison in Starke.
Pardo’s crime spree began soon after he was fired from the police department in the small South Florida town of Sweetwater. He had lied to a Bahamian court, saying he was an undercover drug agent in an attempt to free a colleague who was on trial for narcotics smuggling. He had earlier been fired by the Florida Highway Patrol for falsifying traffic tickets.
Most of his victims were drug dealers he had targeted for robbery, but some were innocent witnesses. At his 1988 trial, he told jurors he was doing society a favor by killing his victims. To the end he denied killing the three woman that were among the nine killed, but said the six men deserved to die.
Frank Judd, the nephew of victim Fara Quintero read a statement thanking the state for helping bring closure to family members. Pardo himself made a statement right before the execution process started, but it could not be heard by the media or witnesses because of an apparent malfunction of equipment in the death chamber.