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The Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty held a news conference Tuesday seeking clemency for death row inmate James Coddington.
“Justice is not killing an inmate for the victim’s family,” said the Rev. Don Heath, the chair of the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. “That is vengeance.”
According to KOCO News 5, the group focused on making a case for the life of death row inmate James Coddington. He was sentenced to death for the 1997 murder of 73-year-old Albert Troy Hale at the victim’s home in Oklahoma County.
Prosecutors say Coddington beat Hale in the head with a hammer and robbed him after Hale refused to loan Coddington money to buy cocaine. Coddington then took $525, left and robbed five convenience stores. He confessed after he was arrested by police outside his south Oklahoma City apartment, according to The Oklahoman.
Earlier this summer, the state set execution dates for Coddington and several other Oklahoma death row inmates. Coddington is the first on the schedule to be put to death, with his execution being scheduled for Aug. 25.
Coddington’s clemency hearing with the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board is scheduled for July 26. His attorneys have asked to commute his death sentence to life without the possibility of parole.