August 13th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) President Laura Chinchilla said yesterday that Costa Rica insists that the United States not execute Terence Valentine, a Costa Rican citizen convicted of murder and kidnapping.
While admitting that the possibilities of changing Valentine’s fate are slim, Chinchilla said her government would continue to insist to the U.S. State Department that the man not be executed, saying it is difficult to accept that a Costa Rican citizen face a sentence “that denies basic rights and represents a remant of the law of retaliation.”
Valentine has spent 19 years on death row in a prison in Raiford, Florida.
“We do not justify what he did or ask for his acquittal, but ask that he not face a penalty which degrades the individual, society and the entire state,” President Laura Chinchilla said.
“The death penalty is a shame and absurd. When it comes time to apply the punishment, the person killed may be very different from the person who committed the act,” Chinchilla added.
Costa Rica submitted a petition for leniency last year in Washington but never received a response.
Livia Romero married Terrence Valentine while she was a teenager in Costa Rica and the couple immigrated to the United States in 1975, settled in New Orleans, and adopted a child.
After seeking to divorce Valentine in 1986, Romero married Ferdinand Porche and the family moved to Tampa, where they began receiving telephoned threats from Valentine.
According to testimony by Romero, On September 9, 1988, Ferdinand Porche returned to his home in the mid-afternoon expecting to meet his pregnant wife and small child. Instead he was greeted by a bullet in the back that severed his spinal cord and rendered him paralyzed from the waist down.
Mr. Porche was then confronted by Mr. Valentine who announced, “This is my revenge.”
Mr. Porche was forced to crawl into a bedroom where he found his wife nude, bound, and gagged and his baby crying and covered in blood. Mr. Valentine then pistol-whipped Mr. Porche. Mr. Porche’s face was lacerated, his jaw was broken, and several teeth were knocked out.
According to the medical examiner there were at least three separate blows to Mr. Porche’s face.
After administering this beating Mr. Valentine made his purpose clear, announcing, “I’m going to kill you, but you’re going to suffer. This is not going to be easy.” Further tortuous acts included stabbing Mr. Porche in the buttocks – the knife stopping only because it struck bone, kicking Mr. Porche in the chest, and dragging him after he was bound hand and foot with baling wire.
Valentine then loaded both Porche and Romero into a vehicle, drove them to a remote area, and shot them, killing Porche.
Romero survived and immediately told police Valentine was her assailant.
Several weeks after being released from the hospital, Romero began receiving telephone calls from Valentine, which she taped using a telephone and recorder supplied by police. Valentine was eventually arrested and charged with armed burglary, [two counts of] kidnapping, grand theft, first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.
Valentine was convicted of the murder of Porche and the kidnapping of Romero in 1994.