Demonstrators Gathered To Protest Execution Of James Coddington
News 6 - August 26, 2022 6:35 am
Many people were against the decision to execute James Coddington and said he deserved the chance to live.
A few of those people protested outside the state penitentiary Thursday and prayed for the families of the victims and Coddington.
Protestors at the prison said James Coddington didn’t deserve to die and they’ll continue to fight for justice for other death row prisoners.
It was a somber day as protestors waited for James Coddington to be put to death.
Father Bryan Brooks with the Church of Saint Benedict in Broken Arrow said he was there to pray for everyone: families, prison workers, and friends.
“From my understanding, this is difficult because he’s been a model inmate,” said Fr. Brooks.
Protestor Chuck Culhane flew to Oklahoma from Buffalo to be at the prison.
He said he was on death row in New York in the 1970s, but his life was spared after a supreme court ruling. He said he’s now a changed man.
“People can change, but when you see somebody at least struggling to be good, people do the right thing, you got to give them a chance,” said Culhane.
Coddington asked for mercy, saying he was born to a drug addicted mother who went to prison. He said he was abused by his father and had alcohol put in his baby bottles, before getting addicted to drugs at a young age.
The Pardon and Parole board recommended clemency, but ultimately Governor Stitt denied that recommendation.
“He had a horrific background and was a different person,” said Rev. Don Heath. “He has been a model prisoner for 15 years, but it doesn’t matter to the governor.”
Reverend Don Heath was in the chamber with Coddington as his spiritual advisor and said Coddington showed regret and deserved to live.
“Does clemency even matter in Oklahoma if the people most deserving can’t even get it from the governor?” asked Allie Sullivan with group Death Penalty Action.
The people protesting said they plan on being at as many other executions as possible and they ask anyone to join them.