A man was executed in America for a murder in 1997, despite the probation commission recommending that he save his life.

James Coddington received a lethal injection at Oklahoma State Penitentiary and died Thursday morning.

The 50-year-old was sentenced to death for beating 73-year-old Albert Hale to death with a hammer 25 years ago.

Prosecutors say Coddington, then 24, got mad when Mr. Hale refused to give him money to buy cocaine.

During a clemency hearing this month before the state’s Pardon and Parole Board, an excited Coddington apologized to Mr. Hale’s family and said he was a different man today.

“I’m clean, I know God, I’m not a vicious killer,” Coddington told the board. “If this ends with my death sentence today, that’s fine.”

But Mitch Hale, Albert Hale’s son, urged the probation commission not to recommend leniency and said this week he was relieved of the decision to proceed with the execution.

“Our family can leave this behind after 25 years,” said Mr. Hale, 64.

“No one is ever happy that someone is dying, but [Coddington] he chose this path … he knew what the consequences were, he rolled the dice and lost. “

Coddington’s attorney, Emma Rolls, told the jury that Coddington was harmed by years of alcohol and drug abuse that began as a child when his father put beer and whiskey in his bottles.

The jury voted 3-2 to recommend leniency, although Hale’s family opposed it.

However, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, a Republican, denied the parole board’s recommendation.

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