Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Capital habeas petition denied
In Pardo v. Sec'y, Florida Dept. of Corrs., the Eleventh Circuit (Birch, Black, Wilson) affirmed the denial of Pardo's capital habeas petition. Pardo, a former police officer, testified at trial that he killed the victims because they were drug dealers, "parasites" and "leeches" who had no right to be alive. Pardo also testified that after he killed each victim, he took a picture of the body to capture the victim's spirit and then burned the picture in a special ash tray. At the penalty phase, Pardo called himself a "soldier" and asked for the death penalty to be imposed. After considering the jury's verdict and the aggravating and mitigating circumstances, the trial court imposed the death penalty. On 2254 review, the Court rejected Pardo's competency claims, a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel premised on the competency claims, an ineffective assistasnce claim based on a severance argument, and a Brady claim.