Florida executes former cop

Manuel Pardo was sentenced to death after being convicted in 1988 of nine counts of first-degree murder.

Story highlights

  • Manuel Pardo, 56, was convicted of nine murders in the 1980s
  • He was pronounced dead at 7:47 p.m. ET
  • His last meal included red beans and rice, roasted pork chops, eggnog and pumpkin pie

A former police officer convicted of multiple murders in the 1980s was executed Tuesday night in Florida.

Manuel Pardo, 56, was pronounced dead at 7:47 p.m. EST at the Florida State Prison in Starke, according to Ann Howard, spokeswoman with the Florida Department of Corrections.

His last meal consisted of red beans and rice, roasted pork chops, plantains, avocado and tomato slices with olive oil, eggnog and pumpkin pie, she said.

Pardo was sentenced to death after being convicted in 1988 of nine counts of first-degree murder.

His attorneys had argued that Florida's recent change in the drug combination it uses for lethal injections would violate their client's civil rights. A judge denied the complaint.

In another legal filing, the Supreme Court of Florida denied Pardo's argument that he should have never been tried because he was incompetent to stand trial. David Waksman, who prosecuted the case, dismissed the claim, saying, "He was just a cold-blooded killer who used to be a cop."

Pardo's life started on the other side of the law, according to court documents filed by his attorneys. At age 17, he enlisted in the Navy and served honorably from 1974 to 1978. In 1981, Pardo re-enlisted in the Marines and remained a reservist while he worked for the Florida Highway Patrol and the Sweetwater Police Department.

In 1985, Pardo was fired from the police department and left the reserves when, according to court documents, "he falsely testified in court about police corruption in the Bahamas." His attorney said the stress of losing his job, compounded with a serious undiagnosed disease, turned him into "someone he was not," a killer.

During his trial, Pardo took the stand and admitted to the murders. "He came up with this vigilante story," recalls Waksman. "He said, 'I'm ridding the community of this vermin and technically it is not murder because they're not human beings.'"

Previously on CNN.com: Execution set in Florida for convicted cop

      CNN Recommends

    • pkg clancy north korea nuclear dreams_00002004.jpg

      North Korea nuclear dream video

      As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
    • Photos: Faces of the world

      Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
    • pkg rivers uk football match fixing_00005026.jpg

      How to fix a soccer match

      Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
    • No Eiffel Towers, Statues of Liberties, Mt. Rushmores, Taj Mahals, Aussie koalas or Chairman Maos.

      15 biggest souvenir-buying no-no's

      It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.