Florida Cop Turned Serial Killer's Execution Makes the Death Penalty Seem Acceptable

Twisted 8

SyringeMy gut reaction to the death penalty is that it's always wrong. That there's nothing that can justify it, and that it's state-sanctioned murder. But the scheduled execution of a Florida cop-turned-vigilante-killer makes me wonder if sometimes, just sometimes, the death penalty is the right thing to do.

Manuel Pardo was a decorated police officer before being fired for lying and going on a killing spree, murdering nine people over three months, and now he's scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on December 11. As I've said, murder = bad. But the reasons he says he did it gives me chills. I don't know if I am comfortable with this man being on this Earth.

At his trial, Pardo said he liked killing his victims. "They're parasites and they're leeches, and they have no right to be alive," he said. "Somebody had to kill these people." He also asked the jury to give him the death penalty, calling himself a soldier.

Um, no. You're not a soldier. You're a cold-blooded killer who enjoys murdering innocent people. Leeches? Can someone who thinks that about other human beings ever see things differently and be rehabilitated? I honestly don't know.

When I saw the movie Dead Man Walking with a friend in college, I left the theater sobbing. I cried as we walked down the street back to the dorms and my friend was mystified that I was so upset. He thought the guy deserved it. He murdered people. He deserved to die. I just couldn't see it that way.

But now that I've got two nieces, two beautiful girls for whom I would probably do absolutely anything, the dangerous people in the world seem much more dangerous to me. Men who go on killing sprees, who think they're real-life Dexter characters, I don't want them out on the streets. I don't want them to be able to get out of jail. Ever.

If I were on a jury and the death penalty were on the table, I'd like to think that I'd stick to my convictions and choose to sentence someone to life in prison rather than link myself to someone else's death. But it might actually depend on how awful the crime they committed was and if I ever thought there was any chance they might do that awful thing again.

Do you believe the death penalty is justified for heinous crimes?


Image via Zaldylmg/Flickr

crime, death penalty, in the news


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JS0512 JS0512

Absolutely.  They have no regard for their victims why should we have any regard for them?

kelti... kelticmom

If not, what do you suggest we do with people who rape, torture, murder, dismember, etc innocent people? Lock them up until they die of old age or get paroled? And let the taxpayers (including their victim's families) foot the bill for their care?

ashes... ashes2ashes831

Ha we need an express-lane. Honest kelticmom said it best! And if your all for them sitting in prison "thinking" of tthe evil they've done, guess what most of them don't. They are parasites

BPayne09 BPayne09

A good friend of mine and her boyfriend were carjacked, raped, tortured and killed about 5 years ago. There were 5 people involved and only one got the death penalty. If you ask me the needle is too good for them. What they did to my friend has made me very much for the death penalty.

BPayne09 BPayne09

I'd also like to add that as tax payers (the victims families too) are paying for the scum to go to school and have all kinds of luxuries that they didn't even have when they were out. How does that seem fair?

nonmember avatar Daniel

This society is so hypocritical. Society looks at Manuel and calls him a "murderer" for killing people, but it calls what it did to Manuel as "justice" for killing him. It's a play on words. Killing Manuel is the same thing as Manuel did.

Procr... Procrastamom

Nope. It's been proven over and over that death penalty laws do not decrease crime rates and are NOT less expensive than life in prison. It's murdering someone because they murdered... not sure how that lines up with so called pro-LIFEers, where every life is supposed to be sacred. You also run the risk of murdering innocent men and women. You can release a wrongly accused person, apologize and compensate them, but there are no take backs in murder.

Nycti... Nyctimene

The death penalty isn't about using threats and fear to decrease crime. That's just a stupid idea people won't stop talking about in relation to it. The death penalty is about punishing someone to the fullest extent and also ensuring that they never get out (or escape) from jail, ever.

Believe it or not quite a few serial killers and mass murderers actually do get back out onto the street legally. Karla Homolk and  Squeaky Fromme among them. New York serial killer Arthur Shawcross had been convicted of killing a couple of children and was released and it was after that that he went on his real serial rampage and killed 12 more people.

The burden of proof is so high these days that worries of wrong convictions are largely overblown. Yes, of course it still happens but it's getting more and more rare as juries demand more and more irrefutable proof. Serials especially are easy to convict because half of them (or better) have the bodies right in their homes or in their car when apprehended and then go on to admit and brag about their crimes.

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