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Lawyers say Oklahoma man is insane, try to halt execution

By SEAN MURPHY
Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Attorneys for an Oklahoma man sentenced to die for killing his 9-month-old daughter in 2002 say their client has become insane while in prison, and his execution must be halted.

Attorneys for Benjamin Robert Cole of Claremore will present their arguments Friday before a judge in Pittsburg County, where Cole is imprisoned at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary.

The U.S. Supreme Court has said executing an insane person is unconstitutional, and Cole's attorneys maintain the prison's warden is violating a state law that requires her to notify the local district attorney when an inmate has become insane.

But Warden Anita Trammel wrote in an affidavit this week that she spoke to Cole and that he understands why he's being executed.

Cole is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection Oct. 7.

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