Ex-po­lice of­fi­cer set for ex­e­cu­tion

Austin American-Statesman - - THE SECOND FRONT - By­ta­mara Lush

TaMPa, Fla. — Manuel Pardo was a dec­o­rated Florida po­lice of­fi­cer be­fore he was fired for ly­ing and turned to life as a vig­i­lante, slay­ing nine peo­ple dur­ing a three­month crime spree.

Al­most 27 years later, Pardo, 56, is sched­uled to be ex­e­cuted Tues­day night. U.S. Judge Ti­mothy Cor­ri­gan de­nied Pardo’s re­quest Mon­day for a stay.

Most of Pardo’s vic­tims were in­volved with drugs, of­fi­cials said, and Pardo con­tended he was do­ing the world a fa­vor by killing them.

“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,” the then31-year-old Pardo told ju­rors at his 1988 trial.

Pardo’s at­tor­neys are try­ing to block his ex­ecu- tion, ar­gu­ing in fed­eral ap­peals that he is men­tally ill, some­thing his trial at­tor­ney be­lieved more than two decades ago.

“I think that any­one who would get up and ask a jury to sen­tence him to death is in­sane,” lawyer Ron­ald Gu­ral­nick said re­cently.

Regino Musa, the brother of one of Pardo’s vic­tims, said it’s dif­fi­cult to grasp that the ex­e­cu­tion will fi­nally hap­pen. He and his el­derly mother plan to at­tend.

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