The US state of Oklahoma has executed James Coddington for murder. After years on death row, the convict was killed by lethal injection on Thursday. Government Kevin Stitt has rejected the man’s plea for a pardon.
The man was sentenced to death for killing a 73-year-old in 1997. The then crack addict killed his colleague Albert Hale with a hammer because he wouldn’t give him money for drugs.
Coddington’s attorneys and lawyers had hoped his life would be spared. They referred to his regrets, traumatic childhood, and rehabilitation during his time on Oklahoma’s death row.
Son of victim: ‘We can finally move on’
“Today is not a good day, it is not a bad day, it is just another day for our family,” Mitchell Hale, the victim’s son, told reporters after witnessing the execution. “We can finally move on. It won’t cure anything, but it closes this chapter,” he told CNN. Most recently, Coddington’s request for a pardon was denied.
Coddington’s execution is the first of more than 24 executions the state plans to carry out by December 2024.
In the United States, 27 states maintain the death penalty despite international criticism. Oklahoma is one of the most conservative states in the country.