FINALLY: Executed for Committing a Horrific Crime

( – The state of Oklahoma has executed a 57-year-old man sentenced to death for murdering his baby daughter despite his lawyers’ insistence that he was “severely mentally ill.”

Benjamin Cole’s execution by lethal injection came 20 years after, in 2002, he killed his 9-month daughter Brianna Victoria Cole.

The infant died after her father forcibly bent her backward, breaking her spine and ripping apart her aorta.

Benjamin Cole was declared dead at 10:22 am on Thursday at Oklahoma’s state penitentiary in McAlester, Newsmax reported.

He became the sixth death row inmate in Oklahoma to be executed after the state resumed its death sentences a year ago.

“Choose Jesus while you still can,” Cole said in a two-minute partly unintelligible prayer while awaiting the lethal shot.

His lawyers never disputed how he murdered his baby daughter but argued that he was severely ill with schizophrenia and had a brain lesion that grew bigger in recent years.

Last month, a clemency hearing at Oklahoma’s Pardon and Parole Board voted 4-1 to deny clemency to Cole.

“As Ben’s physical health deteriorated along with his mind, he became progressively more detached from reality, refusing to leave his cell, moving little and with difficulty, and rarely speaking to anyone,” Cole’s lawyer Tom Hird declared in a statement after the execution.

“It is unconscionable that the state denied Ben a competency trial. Ben lacked a rational understanding of why Oklahoma took his life today. As Oklahoma proceeds with its relentless march to execute one mentally ill, traumatized man after another, we should pause to ask whether this is really who we are, and who we want to be,” the lawyer argued.

Before Cole’s execution, the US Supreme Court rejected two last-minute appeals for stopping it, one on Wednesday and one on Thursday morning.

Some of Brianna Cole’s relatives – maternal aunt Donna Daniel and uncle Bryan Young – witnessed the execution. They voiced their disappointment that the convict had been alive for over 20 years.

“Twenty years? Give me a break. We should not have to wait 20 years for a 9-month-old baby to get justice,” Young said.

They insisted that the murderer’s two-minute prayer showed he was “more competent” than he had revealed.

“It just proved that he’s been faking all along,” Daniel stated.

Before the execution, Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor issued a statement voicing his confidence Cole was sufficiently competent to be executed.

“He is not severely mentally ill. There is nothing in the constitution or jurisprudence that prevents his execution,” said Assistant Attorney General Ashley Willis.

Assistant Attorney General Tessa Henry stressed that Cole killed his baby daughter when he was furious that her crying interrupted his video game.

On Wednesday, a federal appeals court upheld a ruling by a lower court that found Oklahoma’s execution protocol constitutional.

More than two dozen death row inmates, including Benjamin Cole, had filed lawsuits against it. Those were partly based on claims of “death chamber problems,” which in 2014 led to a botched execution.

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