25 Years After Conviction, Oklahoma Executes Murderer

Oklahoma executed convicted murderer James Coddington this morning by lethal injection.  Stephanie Pagones of Fox News reports that Governor Kevin Stitt declined to commute Conddington’s death sentence yesterday, despite the murderer’s apology and the state parole board’s recommendation that his sentence be reduced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.  A 2006 decision by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals describes how Coddington beat his friend, 73-year-old Albert Hale to death with a claw hammer and robbed him of $525 in order to buy cocaine.  Hale’s son found his body later that day and rushed him to the hospital, where he died from his injuries.  After murdering Hale, Coddington went on to commit least six armed robberies of gas stations and convenience stores across Oklahoma City.   Following his arrest, he admitted to the robberies and the murder.  His execution was the fifth Oklahoma has carried out since the state resumed enforcing the death penalty last year.

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