Daniel Wayne Cook Petition Denied; Execution to Go Forward

The execution of convicted murder Daniel Wayne Cook, who has been sitting on death row for more than two decades, will go forward after a last-ditch petition filed by his lawyer was denied by the state Supreme Court yesterday.

Earlier this month, Cook's attorneys filed a petition to review his death sentence, claiming he suffers from  post-traumatic stress disorder and brain damage that wasn't diagnosed at the time of his sentencing.

The justices, apparently, weren't buying it -- they denied the petition without explanation.

Cook was convicted of the 1987 murders of two men in Lake Havasu City, during which he raped and tortured the men before strangling them to death. He was sentenced to death and has remained on death row for about 24 years as his appeals worked their way through the courts.

Cook's lawyers weren't contesting his guilt, but said that executing the convicted murderer "would be a miscarriage of justice."

Cook's attorneys say the Mohave County Superior Court declined to hold a hearing presenting information about their clients' new diagnoses, despite the Arizona Supreme Court last month giving prison officials the green light to set an execution date for Cook.

Calls to Cook's attorney were not immediately returned this afternoon.

As it stands, Cook will be put to death on April 5, at 10 a.m.

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James King
Contact: James King