Manuel Valle, South Florida Cop Killer, Has Execution Delayed by Florida Supreme Court

The first jailhouse coup de grâce approved by Gov. Rick Scott has been delayed by the Florida Supreme Court.

Manuel Valle -- convicted of killing a Coral Gables cop in 1978 -- was scheduled to be executed on August 2, but the court delayed it until September 1.

According to the Florida Department of Corrections, Valle, now 61, has been locked up at the Florida State Prison in Raiford since May 16, 1978.

In a 4-3 decision, the court decided that a judge will have to hear evidence on whether the new lethal injection drug the state is using in Valle's execution is acceptable.

The new sedative drug, pentobarbital, has already been used for executions in four other states, although it hasn't been used in a Florida execution yet.

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 last execution in Florida was on February 16, 2010, for Martin Grossman, who was convicted in 1984 at the age of 19 of killing a state wildlife officer.

Valle also served prison time before the cop killing for two forgery convictions and another conviction for grand theft of a motor vehicle, according to state prison records.

If the execution takes place as planned, Valle will have spent more than 30 years on death row since being sentenced to die on August 4, 1981, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.

The last three inmates executed before Valle all spent more than 23 years on death row, according to FDOC records.

John Marek, who was convicted along with an accomplice of killing a 45-year-old woman on Dania Beach, was the last Broward convict to be executed by the state, and Valle would become the first person from Miami-Dade County to be executed by the state since 2006.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley