Do You Feel Sympathy for Executed Murderer Daniel Cook?

Categories: Morning Poll
See also: Daniel Cook, Convicted Murderer With Tortured Past, Executed in Florence

Arizona Department of Corrections
Daniel Cook was executed at 11:03 a.m. yesterday morning in Florence.
Daniel Cook was executed in Florence yesterday for the 1987 strangulation murders of 16-year-old Kevin Swaney and 26-year-old Carlos Cruz-Ramos in Lake Havasu City.

Cook represented himself when he originally was sentenced to the death penalty for his heinous crimes. At some point after his conviction, a defense team filed an appeal for Cook. After an extensive psychological and emotional evaluation, defense lawyers discovered that Cook had an extremely traumatic childhood.

The report found that Cook was abused from infancy all the way through most of his teenage years. His parents, grandparents, step-father, step-brothers, and foster parents physically and sexually abused him on countless occasions throughout his childhood, according to the evaluation.

Among the many abuses Cook endured growing up included his father's burning his penis with a cigarette when he was an infant, rape and molestation throughout childhood by his mother and grandparents, and a group-home leader's forcing him to undergo circumcision when he was 15.

Cook's victims were found with injuries consistent with the abuses Cook suffered as a child. He burned the genitals of one of his victims with a cigarette, sodomized him, then crushed his throat with a metal pipe, according to the ADC report.

The evaluation concluded that the mental and emotional abuses Cook suffered severely affected his cognitive functioning and reasoning abilities and that a confluence of bad breaks, mental disturbance, and drug addiction led to his uncharacteristic but mortifying actions. The defense team acknowledged that he must pay for his crimes but that he shouldn't have been executed.

The prosecuting attorney said he wouldn't have sought the death penalty had he known of Cook's troubled past.

This morning's question: do you feel any sympathy for Cook?

Cast your vote below:

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My Voice Nation Help

I don't have a lot of sympathy for any violent offender, but that does not mean that they don't have rights. If new evidence becomes available, an executed person has no access to a retrial. If the evidence proves innocence, then they're just as innocent as you or I, and equally just as dead. Because nobody can predict the future, there's no way of knowing "beyond a shadow of doubt" that the accused committed the crime, thus all guilty verdicts in capital crimes are fallacious.

Capital punishment inherently violates equal protection and due process by virtue that the sentence is permanent and irreversible. The only reason why someone would feel that this is justified has more to do with emotion than it does reason.

eric.nelson745 topcommenter

Whoever the group home leader was, he needs to be outed.  Although I am

opposed to capital punishment, I agree with the clemency board in this case.

As long as death is available as a remedy, my evil side says "kill 'em" when

dealing with the worst of the worst criminals.  It's horrible what happened to

Mr. Cook while he was a ward of the state but that fact doesn't diminish the

sheer depravity of what he did.  Getting back to the group home leader, does

anyone know his identity?  Where he lives?  No matter how long his sentence

for his unspeakable crimes was, it wasn't enough.  This guy needs to be found

and constantly reminded of what he did to Mr. Cook.  I doubt whether this guy

regrets what he did.


Another result of the state's inability to protect children. What he became was created by his abusers and if anybody deserved the death penalty, it was them.

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