Wednesday 19 January 2011

Supreme Court rejects appeal from Arizona death row inmate Daniel Wayne Cook

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a petition from Arizona death row inmate Daniel Wayne Cook, who was convicted of killing and sodomizing two men in 1987.
The justices did not comment on their order Tuesday; the U.S. Supreme Court has discretion in choosing cases to hear and does not have to give reasons for rejecting them.
But Cook's attorneys claimed that he should receive a new hearing because of ineffectiveness of counsel. Cook fired his attorney during trial to represent himself. He did not present the kind of mitigating evidence, such as mental illness, that could have prompted a judge to impose less than a death sentence. Cook also has matters pending in Arizona courts.

The Arizona Attorney General's Office has asked the Arizona Supreme Court to set an execution date for Cook, but Cook's lawyers countered with claims that one of the drugs used in lethal injection was improperly obtained by the state. And they sought to have the court consider new evidence suggesting that Cook suffers from organic brain damage and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Cook has also raised the post-traumatic stress disorder claim in Mohave County Superior Court.
The Arizona Supreme Court tabled the discussion about the lethal-injection drug and postponed its decision in setting an execution date pending the action in Mohave County.

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