"Colorado lawmakers hear personal stories surrounding death penalty," is the AP report filed by Ivan Moreno. It's via the Boulder Daily Camera.
A grim coincidence at a Colorado high school. A father's killing at a Texas gas station. A son's shooting death that has driven a mother's political career.
A proposal to abolish Colorado's death penalty will be one of the most emotional issues this legislative session -- in part because lawmakers' own stories are closely connected to the debate.
The three men on Colorado's death row all attended the same high school in suburban Denver at different times. Democratic Rep. John Buckner of Aurora was the high school's principal when each attended.
Aurora Democrat Rhonda Fields' son was gunned down at an intersection to stop him from testifying at a murder trial. Two men convicted in the shooting are on death row.
And Democratic Sen. Lucia Guzman, who is co-sponsoring the bill, believes executions should be abolished, despite her father's gruesome slaying decades ago.
The bill gets its first hearing in coming days. These are the stories of three lawmakers who could be casting crucial votes.
The Sunday Denver Post published opposing OpEds. "Should Colorado do away with the death penalty? Yes," is by State Rep. Angela Williams.
Colorado is a state of many pleasant surprises. We've made great history, despite the opinions of many who assume we are governed by outdated Rocky Mountain stereotypes. We've transformed ourselves from sleepy rural plains to bustling Gateway to the West, a blossoming tech corridor with a world class airport.
Our largest city has already had not one, but two African-American mayors, a Latino mayor, and two female members of Congress. For the first time in our history, we elected five African-American state representatives to the House. At one point, we boasted a black Senate president and a black House speaker, at the same time. We are now an open arms, open-minded purple state rather than an intolerant, uncompromising red state.
But, when it comes to the death penalty, we have a long way to go.
"Should Colorado do away with the death penalty? No," is by retired broadcast journalist Greg Dobbs.
A bill to repeal the death penalty in Colorado is scheduled to be heard by the House Judiciary Committee this week.
There are many compelling arguments to repeal it: It is inhumane; it is inequitably applied; it doesn't deter murderers; it is outlawed in a growing number of states; it leaves Colorado in a league with distastefully barbarous nations like Iran and North Korea; and, maybe most appalling, it has surely led innocent people to their deaths in other states, if not in Colorado. (The praiseworthy "Innocence Projects" across the country have freed so many wrongly convicted citizens that that fatal flaw with capital punishment cannot be ignored.)
But I'm for it anyway.
Earlier coverage of the Colorado repeal legislation begins at the link.