The United States Supreme Court denied a last-minute appeal Wednesday filed by Oklahoma death row inmate Benjamin Cole, who is scheduled for execution Thursday.

Benjamin Cole Death Row Inmate
Oklahoma death row inmate Benjamin Cole Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Cole, 57, was convicted and sentenced to death by lethal injection for killing his 9-month-old daughter Brianna Taylor in 2004. Prosecutor alleged he broke her spine after she angered him while he was playing a video game.

Cole's attorneys did not dispute he killed the infant, but argued he was mentally incompetent to be executed. His attorneys say Cole is severely mentally ill, arguing that "he barely communicates with prison staff or his attorneys, going days at a time without speaking to anyone."

In September, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board rejected a clemency request, ruling Cole was mentally competent to be executed. A district court judge in Oklahoma also ruled that Cole was mentally competent to be executed.

The victim's family urged the parole board to reject clemency.

"The first time I got to see Brianna in person was lying in a casket," said Donna Daniel, the infant's aunt. "Do you know how horrible it is to see a 9-month-old baby in a casket? The baby deserves justice. Our family deserves justice."

Cole's execution would be Oklahoma's sixth since the state resumed executions in October 2021.

Oklahoma has executed three inmates this year and plans another 23 through 2024.