Sunday, October 2, 2011

Florida Executes Man After 33 Years on Death Row

The 37th Execution of 2011

Florida executed Manuel Valle convicted of killing a Coral Gables police officer in 1978, the first inmate put to death since the state changed its lethal injection procedure. The doctor checked the Valle's pulse. Execution team warden Timothy Cannon then nodded and picked up the phone. “The sentence of the State of Florida versus Manuel Valle was carried out at 7:14 p.m.," reported the Gainsville Sun.

More than 33 years after being convicted Valle was executed on September 28, 2011, despite a last-minute appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States. Valle pronounced dead shortly after being administered a series of lethal drugs at Florida State Prison near Starke.

For Valle, the day began when he awoke at 5:32 a.m. He visited through a glass barrier with three sisters, two nieces, a brother-in-law, and his daughter, Rebecca, who was 2 years old when her father was arrested. Later, Rebecca, one of Valle’s sisters and a niece spent an hour with him — with physical contact. By noon, Valle was alone. He showered and dressed in black trousers and a white shirt. He ate most of his last meal: fried chicken breast, white rice, garlic toast and peach cobbler. He drank a Coke. He met with the chaplain. He took diazepam to ease his nerves. And then he sat in his cell and waited, reported the Miami Herald.

He did not open his eyes while laying on a gurney with a white sheet draped over him. Cannon asked if he had last words. “No, I don't,” Valle said. Soon after the administration of the first drug, Valle looked to Cannon. His words were not audible to the witnesses, but the Sun reported that he asked, “Do I need to start counting backwards again?” Several minutes later, he laid with his mouth slack-jawed while Cannon periodically checked his breathing. Valle was then pronounced dead by the doctor nearly 20 minutes after the start of the procedure.

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