Death row inmate James Coddington convicted of killing a co-worker more than two decades ago, was recommended for clemency by the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board.

Warning: Distressing content

He was sentenced to death for the 1997 murder of Albert Troy Hale, 73, at the victim's Oklahoma County house, reported Koco News 5. Coddington beat Hale in the head with a hammer and robbed him. He did so after Hale refused to loan him money to buy cocaine, said prosecutors. His hearing was scheduled for last week, but due to a conflict, the Pardon and Parole Board rescheduled it to Wednesday.

Governor Kevin Stitt will decide whether to grant clemency to Coddington, whose execution date is scheduled for Aug. 25.

Following the board's decision, Attorney General John O'Connor said that he was disappointed that three members of the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board "recommended clemency for Coddington." He shared that Coddington "bludgeoned Albert Hale, a 73-year-old United States Navy veteran, to death with a hammer on March 5, 1997, when Hale refused to give Coddington money to buy drugs." He noted that the two men worked together at a "salvage yard at the time Coddington went to Mr. Hale’s home for money."

O'Connor pointed out that two Oklahoma juries found that the murder was so "heinous that death was the appropriate punishment." He mentioned that the juries heard evidence about "Coddington’s childhood environment and brain development during the sentencing phase of the trials." The jury also concluded that he was a "continuing threat to society – both inside and outside of prison walls."

Then the judge agreed and imposed the death sentence, which was affirmed after "years of thorough reviews by the appellate courts. It is a just and appropriate sentence for the brutal murder of an innocent man." O'Connor said that his office will continue to stand on the "irrefutable facts of this case and with the family of Albert Hale and with all Oklahomans, by opposing Coddington’s request for relief from the Governor."

The Oklahoman reported that the Pardon and Parole Board voted 3-2 to recommend clemency for Coddington after he made an emotional apology to the victim's family. He said in a video that he took a life, and it changed him in a way that "I can't explain." Coddington appeared on the verge of tears, and apologized to the Hale family and told the board that he is clean, and that he is "not a vicious murderer." He said that Hale tried to get him to stop using drugs and had been a friend, and "for that he lost his life.”

ABC News reported that Hale's son, Mitch, later read statements from himself and sister Patricia Carey urging the board to turn down the clemency request.

This is a representational image. Ichigo121212/Pixabay