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Oklahoma executes inmate day after governor declines to commute sentence

Death Row Oklahoma
Posted at 10:43 AM, Aug 25, 2022

MCALESTER, Okla. — A 50-year-old Oklahoma death row inmate was executed a day after Gov. Kevin Stitt rejected a clemency recommendation.

The Associated Press reported that James Coddington was executed by lethal injection and was pronounced dead at 10:16 a.m. at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.

The news outlet reported that Coddington, then 24, was convicted of the 1997 murder of 73-year-old Albert Hale, who he beat to death with a hammer.

During his trial, the news outlet reported, Coddington killed Hale because he didn't give him money to buy cocaine.

Earlier this month, the Associated Press reported that during his clemency hearing, Coddington apologized to the Hale family, telling the five-member Pardon and Parole Board that he was a changed man.

“I’m clean, I know God, I’m not ... I’m not a vicious murderer,” Coddington said, the AP reported. “If this ends today with my death sentence, OK.”

The five-member board voted 3-2 to recommend Coddington for clemency, the Associated Press reported.

However, on Wednesday, Stitt declined his clemency recommendation that would have changed his sentence to life in prison without parole, The Oklahoman reported.