James Coddington, Oklahoma
Updated: Monday, August 15, 2022
Oklahoma plans to execute James Coddington on Thursday, August 25, 2022, inside the execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Oklahoma. Forty-nine-year-old James is convicted of murdering 73-year-old Albert Troy Hale on March 5, 1997, in Choctaw, Oklahoma. James spent the last 18 years on Oklahoma’s death row.
James was physically abused as a child, suffering injuries. At the time of the murder, James worked at a Honda Salvage yard with the victim.
James Coddington was addicted to cocaine. He had gone through treatment, however, he relapsed by March 1997. He was spending approximately $1,000 a day on his habit. On March 5, 1997, Coddington robbed a convenience store to obtain money to buy cocaine. The robbery did not give him enough money
Coddington went to the home of his friend and co-worker, Al Hale. Al was known to keep large amounts of cash in the home at all times and previously helped Coddington get drug treatment. Coddington spent some time with Al watching television. He then smoked cocaine in the bathroom. Al refused to give Coddington any money and told him to leave his home.
As he was leaving the house, Coddington saw a claw hammer in the kitchen. He grabbed it, turned, and hit Al in the face at least three times. Believing Al was dead, Coddington took $525 and left. Coddington then robbed five more convenience stores.
Al’s body was found by his son on the evening of the attack. Al was still alive, but he died the next day. His cause of death was determined to be blunt force head trauma. Al also sustained defensive injuries. Coddington was arrested by the police two days later on March 7, 1997, outside his apartment.
Coddington confessed to the crime. He claimed he did not call the police because he did not want to get caught. He was convicted and sentenced to death in August 2003.
This is not James Coddington’s first execution date. He was previously scheduled to be executed earlier in March 2022. He was given the March execution date after he was removed from a lawsuit against the state challenging its execution protocol. James was removed when he allegedly did not provide a preferred alternative method of execution. However, James and his attorneys claimed that he had communicated his choice of a firing squad for an alternative method of execution. James was eventually allowed to rejoin the lawsuit and his execution was stayed pending the outcome of the lawsuit. After a federal judge ruled that Oklahoma’s execution protocol is constitutional, James’ execution date was rescheduled.
The Oklahoma Board of Pardons and Paroles has recommended that James be granted clemency. The vote was 3-2. The decision to grant clemency lies with Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, who has not yet made his decision.
Pray for peace and healing for the family of Al Hale. Pray for strength for the family of James Coddington. Please pray that if James is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be presented before his execution. Please pray that James may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
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