Condemned killer denied clemency

Wednesday, November 17th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(McAlester-AP) -- A convicted killer next in line for execution has lost his bid for clemency. The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board yesterday denied the request by Cornel Cooks, who is scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection December second at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary.

The 43-year-old Cooks was sentenced in 1983 for killing an elderly disabled woman. Jennie Ridling was gagged, raped and asphyxiated in 1982. Cooks, who has been on death row for 16 years, apologized to the victim and her relatives as well as his own family. Cooks admitted he was nervous and scared, saying he felt unable to express himself because of his lack of education. He has an I-Q of 88.
Ridling's family was not present. Ridling's daughter has suffered strokes and is unable to speak.