"Death penalty in Colorado to be debated by legislators," is Karen Augé report for the Denver Post.
First they scored with guns, then civil unions. Now, Colorado's Democratic lawmakers are ready to go for a hot-button-issue hat trick: repealing the state's death penalty.
It's been tried before — the 2009 effort died by one vote. But when death penalty opponents introduce legislation this time, as they plan to as early as Friday, they will employ a revamped strategy that relies less on arguments of morality and compassion than on dollars and cents and fairness. And they will call on a strange-bedfellows collection of voices, including prosecutors and victims' families, to carry their message.
People such as Bob Autobee.
In 2002, Autobee's son, Eric Autobee, was murdered by an inmate at the Limon prison where he worked.
In their current effort, Colorado Democrats find hope in the fact that Gov. John Hickenlooper's pro-death-penalty stance has wavered lately. They also will rely on the Democratic majority that put through gun restrictions and civil unions.
But one key Democrat in the gun-control debate isn't expected to line up with the party this time.
The killers of Rep. Rhonda Fields' son, Javad Marshall-Fields, and his fiancée, Vivian Wolfe, are two of the three men now on Colorado's death row. The couple was killed because they were set to testify in another murder case.
Rhonda Fields declined to comment for this story. In December she told The Denver Post she wants the death penalty question put to voters. "I believe that society must be protected, and the voters should decide the fate of capital punishment," she said.
Sen. Lucia Guzman, a Denver Democrat who will sponsor the Senate version of the repeal bill, also experienced the murder of a family member. Her father was 73 when he was shot during a robbery at a gas station where he worked.
Earlier coverage from Colorado begins at the link.