James Coddington was executed on Thursday, August 25, for killing 73-year-old Albert Hale with a hammer in 1997.
The prosecutor did not make use of the right of pardon
The execution by injection of poison took place despite the recommendations of the state Pardon and Release Council to spare the killer’s life. Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt did not exercise his right of grace. He refused to relax Coddington’s sentence to life without parole.
Prosecutors argued that 24-year-old Coddington murdered Hale because he was furious because the man refused him money to buy cocaine. He later made at least six armed robberies against gas stations and grocery stores in the city of Oklahoma.
“Given the circumstances of the murder, the assaults associated with it and the rich history of Mr. Coddington’s violence, one thing is clear: death is the only punishment for him,” argued the accusers quoted by the PA.
His father drank him whiski when he was a child
Defense attorney Emma Rolls said he was handicapped by years of alcohol and drug abuse. It started, she added as the father poured beer and whiskey into the baby’s bottles.
“Thank you to all my relatives, friends, lawyers, all who were by my side and loved me,” Coddington said in his last words.
According to AP, the witness to the execution, the son of the murdered, Mitch Hale, noted that he did not believe in Coddington’s sincere repentance. “I forgive him, but that does not absolve him of the consequences for his actions,” he said.
Coddington was the fifth Oklahoma inmate to be executed sentence of death since executions resumed there last year.
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