Key figure in Florida clemency process promises to see Manuel Valle dead

September 6, 2011

Cuban national Manuel Valle, who is currently facing execution in Florida, has been granted a further two day stay to allow consideration of the issue of clemency, following a last minute appeal by his lawyers. However, concerns have been raised that any hearing he does receive may have already been hopelessly prejudiced in the light of comments from the Florida Attorney General’s office. Despite having spent over three decades on death row, Mr Valle has been denied any form of clemency process – in violation of state, federal and international laws. Reacting to news of the stay, Attorney General Pam Bondi’s spokesperson stated that “we are confident that we will ultimately prevail in upholding the death penalty for Valle.” As the Attorney General is one of the four members of the panel which will decide whether to grant clemency to Mr Valle, such comments suggest it will be very difficult for him to receive a fair hearing, should he ever be granted one. Reprieve investigator Katherine Bekesi said: “It is astonishing that Florida could allow someone who has clearly prejudged the case and has a vested interest in ensuring the execution goes ahead to be part of a panel presiding over any clemency procedure Manuel Valle may be granted. Under the circumstances it’s impossible to see him getting a fair hearing.” ENDS1. For further information, please contact Donald Campbell in Reprieve’s press office: +44 (0)20 7427 1082 2. Pam Bondi’s spokesperson’s comments have been reported in the Miami Herald: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/09/02/2387508/federal-court-delays-execution.html 3. Further information on Manuel Valle can be found on Reprieve’s website http://www.reprieve.org.uk/cases/manuelvalle/