A Missouri execution proceeded as planned, despite claims that the inmate was mentally ill. Andre Cole, 52, was convicted in the 1998 murder of Anthony Curtis. Although he was sentenced to death, attorney Joseph Luby argued that his client was mentally unfit for execution.
On August 21, 1998, Cole went to the home of his ex-wife, Terri, to confront her about child support payments. As reported by The Forgiveness Foundation, Cole was specifically upset that the money was withdrawn directly from his paycheck.
According to witness reports, Andre Cole was already angry when he reached Terri’s home. Instead of knocking, he reportedly busted through a sliding glass door and began shouting into the house. He then proceeded to attack Terri and her boyfriend with a knife.
Terri Cole and Anthony Curtis were both seriously injured in the attack. Although Terri eventually recovered, Curtis was pronounced dead at the scene.
Andre Cole immediately fled the scene. More than one month later, he surrendered to police. From the date of his arrest, Cole proclaimed his innocence and denied his ex-wife’s version of events.
Cole was convicted of murder and sentenced to death in March 2001. However, his execution was delayed by numerous appeals.
Luby said Cole often heard “voices over the TV, over the prison intercom, everywhere.” He further claimed government officials were “giving him messages about his case.”
In addition to his attorney, the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP supported Cole’s requests for clemency.
The human rights organizations fought against the Missouri execution, as Cole, a black man, was convicted by an all-white jury.
— Daily Times (@DailyTimes_DT) April 15, 2015
Missouri inmate Kimber Edwards was also convicted of murder and sentenced to death. However, the Missouri Supreme Court honored her appeal and stayed her execution. Edwards, who is black, was also convicted by an all-white jury.
— TC (@tchopstl) April 14, 2015
Andre Cole’s appeals were rejected by the The Missouri Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court. As he exhausted the appeals process, Cole was executed by lethal injection on Tuesday at 10:24 pm.
The Missouri execution will likely remain a point of controversy, as Cole reportedly suffered with mental illness.
Yesterday’s Missouri execution was the fifteenth since November 2013.