Manuel Valle Gets His Third Date With Death: September 28

For the third time, convicted South Florida cop killer Manuel Valle has been given a date to die.

This time, it's been scheduled for September 28, 2011, at 4 p.m. at the Florida State Prison in Raiford, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.

Gov. Rick Scott signed off on the lethal juicing of Valle after a federal court in Atlanta put a stay on the execution -- which was scheduled for September 6 -- to listen to a claim about a possible clemency hearing.

Scott first signed the death warrant for Valle, 61, 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 for a hearing on the use of the state's new lethal-injection drug, pentobarbital.

She ruled that Valle's defense "failed to present any credible evidence of any risk of needless suffering."

In the Supreme Court's unanimous out-of-calendar opinion, it agreed with the lower court's ruling, declaring the new drug constitutional for inmate executions in the state.

The new sedative drug has already been used for executions in several other states but hasn't yet been used in a Florida execution.

The drug replaces sodium thiopental, which has been unavailable after the only seller in the country, Hospira, stopped manufacturing it due to concerns about its use in lethal injections.

The Dutch company that manufactures pentobarbital has been objecting to the state of Florida, and others, for using its product to kill people -- including having the company's president write letters to Gov. Rick Scott asking him not to use his company's product, although that obviously hasn't been very effective.

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.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley