the REAL BENJAMIN COLE. / a Death Penalty Competency Test for Oklahoma

the REAL BENJAMIN COLE. / a Death Penalty Competency Test for Oklahoma October 13, 2022

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the REAL BENJAMIN COLE. / a Death Penalty Competency Test for Oklahoma

Back when I was a child, I used to play a video game entitled, “James Bond 007.”  I’m sure many remember that game.  I used to sit around with my buddies and play all day long.  There is no doubt that it was fun.  While I don’t know if it’s the same version that Benjamin Cole was playing…I can assure you I didn’t love it as much as he did.


On December 20, 2002 in Claremore, Oklahoma, Benjamin Cole was playing “James Bond 007” and grew agitated that his daughter, 9-month-old Brianna Cole, was crying.  Instead of getting up to comfort her, Cole got up and violently contorted her in such a way that he snapped her spine and tore her iota.  Instead of getting her help, Cole went back and started playing his video game again.  What would cause a human being to commit such evil?  I don’t know.  The only thing that seems rational in my mind is that his mind was not rational.


Let there be no doubt, this is a horrific, disturbing, disgusting, unbelievably evil crime.  Surely, we must call it what it is.  But, the story doesn’t end there.


During Benjamin Cole’s trial, it became obvious that he was suffering from a variety of mental defects.  After the trial, Cole was proven to have paranoid schizophrenia and multiple brain conditions that inhibited rational thinking.  Slowly, Cole has become a shell of a human being…often catatonic.  To be competent for execution, one has to know that they are being executed and why they are being executed.  On multiple occasions, Cole has been deemed competent.  I disagree with this assertion…because I’ve actually had a chance to recently speak with Cole.


While I’m no psychologist, I found Cole to have very little understanding of reality.  Of course, my assumption was that Cole was in need of a spiritual advisor (obviously, I agreed to the call…as I work with guys on death row all over the country).  Quickly, it became apparent that he had no idea what he was in need of.  In fact, Cole didn’t even seem to understand who he was talking to.  As for the execution, Cole seemed to suggest that he would receive some sort of messianic proclamation on October 20…not that he would be executed for the murder of his daughter.  Repeatedly, he shouted so many Messianic ideas at me that I had trouble keeping up.  Growing more and more intense, he also shouted Bible verse after Bible verse into the phone.  As we finished the conversation, he kept on talking about presently being in paradise.  I have no doubt that this man has no idea that he is being executed on October 20 or why.  He was unable to talk about or seemingly think about anything but his fantasies.


How can executing this man serve any rational good?


Shame on you Oklahoma.

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