Manuel Valle Denied Stay of Execution by Florida Supreme Court; Death Date Remains

South Florida cop killer Manuel Valle's petition asking for a stay of execution was denied today by the Florida Supreme Court.

His scheduled date with death remains September 28, 2011, at 4 p.m.

Valle's lawyers filed the petition late last week, claiming a Florida law prevented Valle's attorneys from representing him in a civil action related to a denied clemency hearing.

Faced with claims that the Florida law was unconstitutional, the Supreme Court ruled that the petition "points to no persuasive authority" that shows the section of the law violates the state constitution.

As you may remember, Valle, 61, has been given a date to die three times now since Gov. Rick Scott first signed a death warrant for Valle's lethal injection to take place on August 2.

A federal court in Atlanta already put a stay on the execution -- which was scheduled for September 6 -- to listen to a claim about a possible clemency hearing, and that was denied, although Valle's lawyers filed a petition on that ruling with the U.S. Supreme Court.

Before that, Valle was to be executed on August 2, but the Florida Supreme Court stayed his execution and remanded the case to Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jacqueline Hogan Scola, who oversaw a hearing on the use of the state's new lethal-injection drug, pentobarbital.

Valle, convicted of killing a Coral Gables cop in 1978, has been locked up at the Florida State Prison in Raiford since May 16, 1978, and on death row for just over 30 years now since being sentenced to death on August 4, 1981.

The last execution in Florida was on February 16, 2010, for Martin Grossman, who was convicted in 1984 at age 19 of killing a state wildlife officer, and each of the three inmates executed by the state before Valle spent more than 23 years on death row, according to Florida Department of Corrections records.

Valle's appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court is still pending.

The ruling from the Florida Supreme Court can be found here.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley