Inmate Is Executed, Despite Ruling of Parole Board

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt let execution of James Coddington go forward
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 25, 2022 11:39 AM CDT
Inmate Is Executed, Despite Ruling of Parole Board
This Feb. 5, 2021, photo provided by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections shows James Coddington.   (Oklahoma Department of Corrections via AP, File)

Oklahoma executed a man Thursday for a 1997 killing, despite a recommendation from the state's Pardon and Parole Board that his life be spared. James Coddington, 50, received a lethal injection at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester and was pronounced dead at 10:16am, per the AP. Gov. Kevin Stitt declined to commute Coddington’s sentence to life in prison without parole and rejected his petition for clemency. Coddington was the fifth Oklahoma inmate to be put to death since the state resumed executions last year.

Coddington was convicted and sentenced to die for beating 73-year-old Albert Hale to death with a hammer. Prosecutors say Coddington, then 24, became enraged when Hale refused to give him money to buy cocaine. During a clemency hearing this month before the state’s five-member Pardon and Parole Board, an emotional Coddington apologized to Hale’s family and said he was a different man today. “I’m clean, I know God, I’m not ... I’m not a vicious murderer,” Coddington told the board. “If this ends today with my death sentence, OK.”

Coddington’s attorney, Emma Rolls, told the panel that Coddington was impaired by years of alcohol and drug abuse that began as an infant when his father put beer and whiskey into his baby bottles. The panel voted 3-2 to recommend clemency, although Hale’s family had urged against it. Stitt, a Republican, denied the parole board's recommendation. Mitch Hale, Albert Hale’s son, said this week he was relieved Stitt decided to let the execution go forward. “Our family can put this behind us after 25 years,” said Hale, 64.

(Read more execution stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.