Today's Boulder Daily Camera publishes the editorial, "Death penalty lingers." It's written by Erika Stutzman for the paper's editorial board.
We held out hope that Colorado would join the states that have replaced the death penalty with life in prison without parole, and it seemed like this was the year it would happen.
It was not to be, and it died in committee this week. After our most recent chance at reform, we'd like to encourage lawmakers to revisit it in the future.
Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, one of the bill's main sponsor blamed its early demise on Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper's statement that he didn't think Coloradans would support abolishing the death penalty.
In his testimony in favor of the now-dead bill, Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett restated why mandatory life in prison without parole would be a more pragmatic penalty than state-sanctioned death. Death penalty cases are exorbitantly expensive, and funded by state and local governments. Death penalty cases, because of the appeals process, take years and years.
In Colorado, prosecutors pursue the death penalty in about 1 percent of cases that would be eligible for it, according to a recent study.
Which was Garnett's other point he made to legislators: "The final concern I noted ... is the randomness of the death penalty. Because it is sought in only a tiny fraction of cases, it is by definition random. Nothing illustrates this like the fact that all of the men on Colorado's death row are from the same county and went to the same high school."
"Death penalty foe ‘very upset’ by bill’s fate," is the Pueblo Chieftain report by Gayle Perez.
A Pueblo man who recently petitioned lawmakers to abolish the death penalty said he was "extremely disappointed" a House committee on Tuesday killed a bill that would do so.
"I'm very upset with the legislative, judicial and penal systems," an emotionally charged Bob Autobee said Wednesday afternoon.
"They have these hearings and invite you to give testimony but then the people don't listen to you. Their minds are already made up," said Autobee, who testified against the death penalty at a March 19 judiciary committee hearing.
Autobee's son, Eric, a corrections officer, was killed in 2002 by inmate Edward Montour.
The Denver Post reports, "Second Colorado death penalty bill dies at sponsor's request." It's written by Lynn Bartels.
The Aurora Democrat admitted that her bill was a strategic counter to the proposal to abolish the death penalty.
"I don't think the death penalty should berepealed," Fields said.
Two of the three men sitting on Colorado's death row were convicted of killing Fields' son. Fields said she feared that if the bill to repeal the death penalty had succeeded, it would have given the governor and others motivation to commute the death sentences of her son's killers to life in prison.
The House Local Government Committee, which Fields chairs, honored her request to kill House Bill 1270.
Earlier coverage of the Colorado repeal legislation begins at the link