Arizona court approves fifth execution this year

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The Arizona Supreme Court on Tuesday approved the execution of a death-row inmate who was spared from the death penalty last year after winning a last-minute delay from the nation's highest court.

Daniel Wayne Cook, 50, is now scheduled for execution on Aug. 8 at the state prison in Florence.

Cook was sentenced to death for killing a 26-year-old Guatemalan immigrant, Carlos Cruz-Ramos, and a 16-year-old boy, Kevin Swaney, in 1987, after police say he tortured and raped them for hours in his apartment in Lake Havasu City in far western Arizona.

Cook had been scheduled for execution on April 5 of last year, but the U.S. Supreme Court granted him a last-minute stay to consider whether he had ineffective counsel during his post-conviction proceedings. They since have turned him down.

Another death-row inmate, Samuel Villegas Lopez, is set to be executed in two weeks.

Lopez would become the fourth inmate executed in Arizona this year, while Cook would become the fifth. Two other inmates who are nearing the end of their appeals could bring the number of executions in the state this year to seven.

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