Who is Benjamin Cole? Why did he execute by Lethal Injection? Explained


Who is Benjamin Cole? Why did he execute by Lethal Injection? Explained


Oklahoma executes Benjamin Cole by lethal injection for killing his infant daughter in 2002. Let’s see who is Benjamin Cole and Why did he execute by Lethal Injection in detail

  • Benjamin Cole was executed on Thursday in Oklahoma.
  • According to Cole’s attorneys, he was schizophrenic, had brain impairment, and was therefore ineligible for execution.


Who is Benjamin Cole? 

Cole was on death row for murdering his infant child. He had killed her after the 9-month-old interrupted him while playing a video game. Despite having brain damage and experiencing paranoid schizophrenia since his trial, Oklahoma executed Benjamin Cole, a man found guilty of killing a baby, on Thursday.

At 10:22 in the morning, Cole was pronounced deceased. He was 57.

The elderly prisoner begged Jesus to “accept my spirit” in his dying words. He had a long greying beard and long hair.

He made a two-minute rambling, occasionally inaudible plea that concluded, “Choose Jesus while you still can.” “Keep an eye out, and be ready at all times.”

He stated he prayed that Jesus would touch the hearts of people in misery over what he had done, but did not express remorse directly, although he did refer to “everyone that I have done wrong.”

Since executions resumed a year ago, the Oklahoma State Penitentiary has administered six fatal injections. Another 23 are scheduled through the end of 2024. On death row, Cole allegedly lost his mental capacity, and as a result, could not be killed following U.S. law. 

1986 Supreme Court decision 

Five courts declined to get involved after Warden Jim Farris rejected the allegation in August. The United States’ most recent denial supreme Court arrived just before the scheduled execution.

Ben “slipped into a realm of illusion and darkness over his years on death row,” his lawyer Tom Hird said in a statement following the execution. He frequently struggled to engage in meaningful conversation with me and my coworkers. The legal representative referred to Cole’s denial of a competence trial as outrageous.

“We should pause to consider whether this is really who we are, and who we want to be,” the author writes as Oklahoma continues its unrelenting march to execute one mentally ill, traumatized man after another.

After dismissing complaints from death row convicts concerning the sedative used in the fatal injection procedure in June, Cole was set to be executed. The prisoners did not pursue those sedative-related complaints on appeal.

Victim: Cole’s daughter Brianna Cole 

Cole received a death sentence for the murder of his infant daughter on December 20, 2002, at their Claremore, Oklahoma, residence. Nearly nine months old, Brianna Cole was the victim.

The aides to Attorney General John O’Connor informed the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board that “few killings are as terrible as this one.”

What did Benjamin Cole, a death row inmate from Oklahoma, do?

According to testimony at his trial, as Cole’s kid began to wail and complain, he leaned his baby backward in her cot. Her mother had laid her down for a nap before leaving to hang some washing outside. Cole was engaged in “007,” a Nintendo video game. His action caused the infant’s aorta and spine to be torn in half, severely bleeding inside. He resumed playing the video game after that. A hospital eventually received the girl, but it was too late to save her.  According to the police, Cole then went home with his wife and informed her he wanted to try for another child. After learning that a pathologist had determined the death to be a homicide, he confessed the next day. He asked, “How many years am I looking at?”

Was Ben Cole mentally ill? Psychological reports:

Cole’s attorneys frequently referred to him as largely catatonic when he had a growing brain lesion. He sat slumped forward in a wheelchair for almost four hours during a court proceeding on September 30. 

He didn’t say anything and kept his eyes closed. He did, however, engage in extensive conversation with the state psychologist who interviewed him in July at the Vinita, Oklahoma, Forensic Center.

After the evaluation, psychologist Scott Orth wrote in a report that he had not seen any significant overt indicators of mental illness.

Reports states:

Cole said that the psychologist was there “to make sure I’m competent and that I realize first I killed my daughter. And that I went through a trial for taking my daughter’s life. And that a jury found me guilty, they found me guilty of murder, and I was given the death penalty for that, and I accept responsibility for that.”

According to the article, Cole described himself as “just a super-duper bombastic Jesus freak” and expressed optimism that after being executed, his spirit would return “to my Father in Heaven.”

In addition, he voiced the hope that following his execution, Governor Kevin Stitt “would have a change of heart about seeking capital punishment and focusing on death for inmates, and instead focus more on life and rehabilitation,” according to the report.

I’ll pray for him and the people of Oklahoma that it takes place. It’s just something I hope he thinks about and puts to heart.

At the hearing on September 30, the warden stated that in making his determination that Cole was competent, he mainly relied on the psychologist’s assessment.

The warden assured the jury that he would always act morally. And if I thought he was unqualified, I wouldn’t have a problem with bringing it ahead at all. But in this case, I didn’t see that. The warden was asked by Cole’s legal team to start a procedure that would have led to a jury trial debating Cole’s mental condition. Then they approached a judge for Pittsburg County, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, and the U.S. to intervene in the Supreme Court, a federal judge in Tulsa, and a federal appeals court. All objected.

The 10th U.S. Congress’s choice was Denver’s Circuit Court of Appeals arrived early on Thursday morning and decided not to get involved. Both on Wednesday and Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected requests to halt the execution. Despite Cole’s attorneys’ requests for clemency due to his mental health concerns, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board decided 4-1 in September to reject Cole’s request.

What did Benjamin Cole eat most lately?

Cole did not make the usual farewell request. According to prison officials, he received a “religious supper” around 7:30 p.m. that included vegetarian lasagna, salad, a tortilla, and a fruit drink package. Additionally, he objected to having a spiritual advisor and any legal counsel present in the execution chamber or witness room. At 10:04 a.m., after the stated time of execution, the curtain was raised. Cole reportedly decided against walking into the chamber himself and instead requested to be wheeled in a wheelchair, according to Justin Farris, the Department of Corrections chief of operations. It only took a few extra minutes, he claimed. It took 16 minutes for the deadly injection to be administered. 

As the first medicine, the sedative midazolam entered his veins, Cole opened his eyes, trembled once, and yawned. The victim’s aunt and uncle later claimed that she had received justice and that it shouldn’t have taken so long. Additionally, they urged the media to support victims’ rights and stop focusing solely on the offender. The uncle, Dr. Bryan Young, added, “I’m going to talk to my politicians.” 20 years? Give me a break. He admitted it. There was no doubt about this. I want to see if there is anything we can do to speed up the process. The aunt, Donna Daniel of Broken Arrow, claimed to have first seen Brianna in a coffin.

The aunt and uncle were present for the execution. The mother of the victim didn’t. Daniel commented that Cole’s final statement “simply demonstrated that he’s been faking this all along.” Young continued, “He understood exactly what he was doing the entire time. He attempts to manipulate. He had everyone fooled, or thought he had everyone fooled.”

Reporters from The Associated Press, The Oklahoman, two television stations in Oklahoma City, and the McAlester newspaper covered the execution for the media. Having seen many midazolam executions, AP reporter Sean Murphy remarked, “This seemed to be extremely similar, with… the hitched breathing and the flapping of the mouth and in terms of the length of time it took.”

The Rogers County district attorney Matt Ballard and the anesthesiologist Ervin Yen, who acted as the state expert in the federal litigation involving the lethal injection technique, were among the other witnesses. The 1986 landmark decision by the US Supreme Court on the mental state of death row convicts resulted from a Florida appeal. 

According to the majority, states are not allowed to execute an insane prisoner since the constitution forbids harsh and unusual punishment. Although it is now viewed negatively in society, Oklahoma law and the legal community still use the phrase. A prisoner no longer has a logical knowledge of the reasons behind his impending execution, according to legal cases involving the death penalty.

According to a 2013 investigation, 20 death row convicts in the US had been declared crazy since the 1986 ruling. When the state stopped administering lethal injections in 2015 to look into a drug mix-up, Cole was just a few days away from being executed.

On Thursday, opponents of the death penalty once more urged the government to halt executions. Outside the Governor’s Mansion, some people demonstrated. The Oklahoma City archbishop referred to the death penalty as a discredited and divisive form of punishment.

As a state that upholds the sanctity of human life for the unborn, we need to keep constructing a community that chooses life in all circumstances, according to Archbishop Paul S. Coakley. “The death sentence does little to heal the wounds of grief and loss,” he said. Cole is the third individual with a mental disability to have been executed in the last year, according to the Rev. Don Heath, chair of the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. Heath added, “We mourn the loss of Ben Cole’s life and pray that his tortured spirit finds peace.




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