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A man put on death row for killing his baby daughter is to be executed, despite his lawyers arguing he is unaware of this fact.
Benjamin Cole, who killed his daughter in 2002, is scheduled to be executed on October 20 at 10am central time, 4pm in the UK.
But his lawyers have filed a suit in the US District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma with the hope of the court ordering a competency hearing.
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According to US law, those deemed not competent cannot be executed.
Attorney Emma Rolls said: "The state courts’ acknowledgement that experts have reached conflicting opinions about Ben Cole’s competency should have been all they needed to order a full competency hearing."
Earlier this week, Cole's team also applied to the US Supreme Court for a stay of execution. This was denied on Wednesday.
Oklahoma argues that Cole is mentally fit and that he merely has a personality disorder and is manipulative.
Warden of Oklahoma State Penitentiary, Jim Farris, has refused to initiate a competency hearing and cites an evaluation by state doctor Dr Scott Orth.
Orth is said to have had a 150-minute evaluation with Cole in which the inmate fully cooperated, though other evaluations have said the opposite.
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In a ruling on October 4, Pittsburg County District Judge Mike Hogan disagreed with the arguments of Cole's lawyers and turned down a request for a competency trial. He did this despite saying that expert reports on Cole' mental state are "conflicting".
The trial would have allowed a jury to decide if Cole was fit to be executed.
During the examination cited by Judge Hogan, Cole is reported to have said: "Are you asking if I see little green men running around on the floor that beam up in a spaceship to Venus and look for the purple monsters?
"No, I do not see things. I never have."
Cole's lawyers say he is suffering from schizophrenia, likely caused by an identified brain lesion and other factors such as extreme abuse as a child.
Cole killed the nine-month-old by bending her body so far back that her spine snapped and her aorta was torn, before going back to playing a video game.
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- Death Row
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