Originally Posted by Dimnos
The short and skinny on Cook...
The dude was found shot at the scene of the crime. He was wearing an empty gun holster. The gun he owned was found at the scene with five spent rounds. Those five spent rounds were confirmed to be the ones that killed the on duty officer who was conducting a traffic stop on Cook's brother. The rest of the evidence is debatable. I think what mostly casted the shadow of doubt in his case was that a security guard at the hospital he was treated at for his gun shot wound testified for the prosecution that Cook confessed while doctors testified for the defense that he was incapable of speaking at the time because of his wound.
If you REALLY want to know more about this case, and take care to sift the facts from the innuendo and hearsay, you'll find that the great preponderance of the evidence points to his guilt. This is why he was not only found guilty of murder in the first degree, but also received a sentence of death. The majority of the information stating, for example, that the trial was unfair, the judge was biased, they're railroading an innocent man, blah blah blah come from outlets that are not even a little familiar with the facts surrounding the case, or from people with an axe to grind concerning capital punishment.
I was living in Philadelphia while the trial was taking place. I read the reports (though not the transcripts) in the Philadelphia Inquirer, which is a liberal-leaning rag. I know about the witness statements and circumstantial evidence found at the scene.
The bottom line? I have a hard time with the death penalty - always have - but I do believe that this man deserves to die. He killed an officer of the law in cold blood. I am convinced. And so was a jury whom he helped to select.
Yet here he is, more than 25 years after the fact, still living on "Death Row" and still claiming he should be given a new trial. Ironically, many of the other principals in the trial - witnesses, lawyers and family members of the victim - are now deceased.
Sorry about the tone of my response, but this case really hits home for me in a way that few other death-penalty cases do.
I will try to find a link to the court transcripts, which I think might
be on the web.