The Colorado Springs Independent reports, "Capitol punishment," about the 2013 Colorado State Legislaure's upcoming session. It's by Chet Hardin. Here's an extended excerpt from the beginning:
Opponents of Colorado's death penalty are working behind the scenes in preparation for the 2013 session of the state Legislature.
According to the NAACP's Rosemary Harris Lytle, death-penalty abolitionists have been meeting to discuss the upcoming session and the possibility of moving forward a bill to remove the death penalty.
Harris Lytle wouldn't comment on specifics.
"They are certainly talking about it right now," says House Minority Leader Mark Waller, R-Colorado Springs.
With Democrats in control of the Legislature, this will be the first time that opponents of capital punishment will have an opportunity to advance their agenda since their failed 2009 attempt.
Now, just as then, they will encounter obstacles. For one, as Waller points out, "it's one of those issues that is not strictly down party-line. I think that, for the Democrats, it's going to be an issue of needing some Republican support, not to pass it, but even to bring it forward."
The current Senate president, Springs Democrat John Morse, actually opposed the 2009 bill.
Secondly, this conversation undoubtedly will be affected by the high-profile case of James Holmes, who is standing trial for the Aurora theater shooting. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 66 percent of Coloradans believe that Holmes ought to receive the death penalty.
Currently, three men sit on Colorado's death row.
"Bob Autobee 'drops out' of death penalty battle for son's killer, Edward Montour," is the Westword Denver report written by Alan Prendergast.
Frustrated by a decade of legal delays and setbacks, the father of slain state corrections officer Eric Autobee says that he now opposes further efforts to obtain the death penalty for inmate Edward Montour Jr. for the 2002 murder. In a recent interview, Bob Autobee also blasted the leadership of the Colorado Department of Corrections, saying that a fatal attack on another prison employee in September shows that officials have failed to adopt adequate security measures to protect staff from dangerous inmates.
"We've dropped out of the legal process because I can't see putting Montour to death for his part in this murder and not punishing the state for its part," Autobee says. "They've learned nothing from my son's death. We're losing control of the prisons."Already serving a life sentence for killing his infant daughter, Montour attacked 23-year-old Eric Autobee at the Limon Correctional Facility with a heavy ladle he'd obtained from the prison kitchen. It was the first inmate killing of an officer in the DOC in 73 years. Montour pleaded guilty to first degree murder, but the Colorado Supreme Court threw out his death sentence in 2007 because it hadn't been imposed by a jury. Eighteenth Judicial District Attorney Carol Chambers and the Colorado Attorney General's Office have been seeking to get the death penalty reinstated in his case for the past five years.
Chambers's successor, George Brauchler, faces a critical decision about whether to continue to pursue the costly execution battle at a hearing scheduled for February. Montour lawyer David Lane says his client will withdraw his guilty plea if the state keeps pushing for the death penalty, but he's agreed to "stay in a little supermax cell for the rest of his life" and not contest his conviction if the prosecution will forego its quest for execution.
The article notes that Colorado has only carried out one post-Furman execution.
Earlier coverage from Colorado begins at the link.