US Supreme Court rejects Oklahoma death row appeal

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a last-minute appeal filed by Oklahoma death row inmate Benjamin Cole, paving the way for Thursday to receive a lethal injection.

Cole, 57, was convicted and sentenced to death for murdering her 9-month-old daughter, Brianna Cole, by forcibly bending her back and breaking her spine. Prosecutors allege that Cole was angry with a crying child while he was playing a video game.

Cole’s attorneys do not dispute that he killed the infant, but they say he was severely psychotic and suffered brain damage that was exacerbated while in prison.

A state board rejected Cole’s pardon offer earlier this month, and a judge in an Oklahoma district court ruled he was competent enough to be executed.

It will be Cole’s sixth execution since Oklahoma resumed executions in October 2021.


The story was modified to show that the victim’s last name was Cole instead of Taylor.