On September 28, 2011, after 33 years on Florida Death Row, an additional cruel 3-hour delay from the US Supreme Court and an execution that lasted 16 minutes, Cuban Manuel Valle was declared dead. He was 61.
This was the first death warrant signed by Gov. Rick Scott since taking office. This was the first person to be administered Pentobarbital in Florida, as part of the new Lethal Injection Procedures (take the time to read this official document). This was the 30th patient legally-murdered in the USA since December 2010, when Danish pharma Lundbeck entered the death penalty business. After several delays and stays of execution, a last attempt was made to alert on the use of Pentobarbital, an untried lethal drug already suspected of causing needless pain and suffering to the condemned man (as seen in Roy Blankenship’s botched execution.)
“Who cares if he’s going to have to suffer,” Pena’s former wife Inez Afanador said. He caused Louis Pena to drown in his own blood and Louis Pena’s family has been suffering for 33 years. Now its Valle’s turn to suffer. An eye for an eye.”
“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” said Ghandi…
This case (ignored by most of those who swore to act and to never forget a recent and outrageous execution in Georgia) offers irrefutable, exemplary arguments against capital punishment :
- The torture of 33 years in solitary death row confinement, waiting to be executed.
- The intentional disregard, by the United States of America, of international treaties regulating the cases of foreign nationals.
- The absurdity of clemency processes in the USA ( ), a machine that shreds any argument to pieces and leaves abolitionists numb and incredulous.
- The shocking waste of monies, in a time of severe financial crisis (Gov. Rick Scott has been considering harsh cuts in HIV/AIDS programs.)
- The abuse of murder victims’ families, who are exploited by the system and led to believe that an execution is what they need.
- The myth of closure for those who have lost a loved one to murder.
- The revenge that is sought, a humane reaction often disguised under the respectable definition of “justice”.
- The perpetual cycle of violence, killing to show that killing is wrong.
It’s all in there (though this list is not exhaustive.) Even the incredible difficulty to speak up for the value of human life for all humans, especially for those believed guilty.
“For 33 years people asked us would the death penalty bring us closure,” said Jeneane Skeen, 46, of Buckingham, Pena’s daughter. “At this point, it’s beyond closure, and it’s beyond justice. “We finally got revenge on the lowlife piece of human waste that murdered our father. Officer Louis Pena finally got his rights.”
As the words “revenge” and “lowlife piece of human waste” were pronounced, a grin could be noticed…
Meanwhile – and I know this for a fact – someone closely-related to Manuel Valle looked for support. Who will help her now?