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State high court denies appeals by former Sweetwater cop slated for execution

The Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday denied appeals by former Sweetwater cop and mass killer Manuel Pardo, who is slated to be executed next week.

Prosecutors said Pardo, 56, and cohort Rolando Garcia committed nine murders during the 1980s, ripping off drug dealers and people who could implicate them in the crimes. At a 1988 trial, he admitted the murders, saying he was ridding the streets of the “scum of the earth.”

At trial, lawyers for Pardo — a former highway patrolman, Boy Scout leader and decorated Navy veteran — argued he was insane at the time of the crimes.

After Gov. Rick Scott signed his death warrant in October, Pardo’s lawyers asked Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Stanford Blake to stay the execution, saying Pardo had not been given all the public records associated with his case and that back in the 1980s he was incompetent to stand trial.

Pardo’s lawyers also said state’s method of lethal injection was “cruel and unusual” punishment. Blake denied the appeals.

On Tuesday, the Florida Supreme Court upheld Blake’s decision, saying Pardo’s claims about lethal injection were based on “pure speculation and conjecture.”

Pardo is slated to be executed Dec. 11 at the Florida State Prison in Starke.