James E. Cooke, Jr. — black, age 34 (re-sentence after appellate reversal)
Sentenced to death in New Castle County, Delaware
By: a judge upon jury recommendation (11-1)
Date of crime: May 1, 2005
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Cooke was convicted of the rape and strangulation of Lindsey Bonistall (age 20). Cooke was charged with first-degree murder, rape, burglary, and arson. He was also tried and convicted of two nearby burglaries of two young women in the days leading up to the killing. In an attempt to throw off police detectives, Cooke scrawled white-supremacist graffiti on the walls of Bonistall’s apartment before setting it on fire. Cooke’s first conviction and sentence were reversed because his lawyer, over Cooke’s objection, put forth a guilty-but-mentally-ill argument.
Sources: Journal News (NY) 6/7/07 (2007 WLNR 27677168), Journal News (NY) 8/22/12 (2012 WLNR 27416135), Newsday (USA) 9/18/12 (2012 WLNR 19817562).
Isaiah McCoy — black, age 23
Sentenced to death in Kent County, Delaware
By: a judge upon jury recommendation
Date of crime: May 4, 2010
Prosecution’s case/defense response: In a drug deal gone wrong, McCoy shot and killed James Mumford (age 30) in a bowling alley. McCoy was charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, conspiracy, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
Sources: Delaware Newszap (DE) 7/11/12 (http://delaware.newszap.com/centraldelaware/115157-70/mccoy-chooses-not-to?printerfriendly=true), Delaware Newszap (DE) 12/11/12 (http://delaware.newszap.com/centraldelaware/117123-70/judge-sentences-convicted-murderer).