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Oklahoma judge rules man competent to be executed this month

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

An Oklahoma judge has ruled a man on death row is competent to be executed, paving the way for his lethal injection next month.

Judge Mike Hogan in Pittsburg County ruled Tuesday in the case of 57-year-old Benjamin Cole, who is scheduled to be executed Oct. 20 for killing his 9-month-old daughter in 2002.

His attorneys have argued that Cole suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and that a lesion on his brain has worsened in recent years, affecting the part of his brain that deals with problem solving and movement.

Cole’s execution would be the sixth since Oklahoma resumed carrying them out in October 2021.