Man Executed In Oklahoma Despite Parole Boards Wishes
Oklahoma have executed a death row inmate for a murder in 1997 despite the parole board recommending that his life be spared.
50-year-old James Coddington has been executed by lethal injection at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary and was declared dead on Thursday morning. Coddington was convicted of beating to death 73-year-old Albert Hale with a hammer 25 years ago and subsequently sentenced to death.
Prosecutors claimed that Coddington, who was 24 at the time of the killing, became enranged when Mr Hale refused to give him money to purchase cocaine.
Earlier this month a clemency hearing took place before Oklahoma's Pardon and Parole Board, where Coddington gave an emotional plea and apologised to Mr Hale's family, claiming he was a different man today.
He said: "I'm clean, I know God, I'm not a vicious murderer. If this ends today with my death sentence, okay."
The victim's son, Mitch Hale, urged the parole board not to recommend clemency and later announced his relief at the decision to allow the execution to proceed.
64-year-old Mitch Hale, said: "Our family can put this behind us after 25 years. No one is ever happy that someone's dying, but Coddington chose this path. "He knew what the consequences are, he rolled the dice and lost."
Emma Rolls, Coddington's attorney, told the parole board that her client was impaired by years of drug and alcohol abuse that started when he was an infant when his father put beer and whiskey into his baby bottles. The panel voted 3-2 in favor of granting clemency to Coddington even though the Hale family had contested against it. However, going against the recommendation, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, denied the parole board's recommendation and instructed the execution to proceed.
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