Rick Scott Signs Off on First Lethal Juicing for South Florida Cop Killer

Gov. Rick Scott has approved the first jailhouse coup de grace of his governorship, the Miami Herald reports.

Manuel Valle -- convicted of killing a Coral Gables cop in 1978 -- is scheduled to be executed on August 2.

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.

Before his 1978 conviction for killing Coral Gables Officer Louis Pena -- which also included an additional five years for possession of an illegal weapon and 30 years for the attempted murder of another cop -- Valle also served time before the killing for two forgery convictions and another conviction for grand theft of a motor vehicle, according to state prison records.

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

Before the lone 2010 execution, there were just two in 2009 -- including Broward's own John Marek, who was convicted, along with an accomplice, of killing a 45-year-old woman on Dania Beach.

Before Marek, the only other Broward criminal executed by the state since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976 was Jesse Tafero, who was put to death in May 1990.

Valle will be the first person from Miami-Dade County to be executed by the state since 2006.

If the execution takes place as planned, Valle will have spent two days short of 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.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley