"Sympathy for Nathan Dunlap? No. Clemency? Yes.," is the Denver Post editorial.
Hickenlooper ought to grant the petition, but not because Dunlap is a miscast character caught in bad circumstances, no matter how hard his lawyers have worked hard to portray him in a sympathetic light.
He should spare Dunlap's life and relegate him to spend the rest of his days in prison because the death penalty is fundamentally wrong, and its application in Colorado is arbitrary.
Recently, two law professors at University of Denver studied the outcome of murder cases in Colorado. They examined 544 first-degree cases from 1999 to 2010 and found the death penalty was a punishment option in 92 percent of cases. However, prosecutors pursued the death penalty at trial in only 1 percent of cases.
As recently as December, Hickenlooper expressed mixed feelings about the death penalty. "I wrestle with this, right now, on a pretty much daily basis," he said at the time.
We hope the governor concludes the arbitrary nature of the death penalty in Colorado is a strong enough argument to grant Dunlap clemency. The sporadic taking of life in the name of the state is not justice.
The Boulder Daily Camera publishes an OpEd, "Faith directs us to support clemency for Nathan Dunlap," written by Rabbi Joseph Black and the Rev. Jim Ryan.
For us, as men of God and leaders of our congregations of Colorado faithful, it is deeply troubling that our state may move forward with the execution of Nathan Dunlap. Our calling to serve God involves a responsibility to seek justice, and we must be especially mindful of our role in supporting the poor and the weak, while advocating for fairness for all. Despite his terrible crime and the suffering he caused, we pray that Mr. Dunlap will receive executive clemency and will serve his life in prison without the possibility of parole.
While our faith compels us to reject violence in all forms, we find the death penalty, an act of violence that is premeditated and carried out in our names, particularly abhorrent. We would be remiss in our spiritual commitment if we did not speak out about our belief that Mr. Dunlap's life should be spared.
Our moral responsibility to our congregations and to all our fellow citizens is to strive to live in accordance with our own inner holiness. We work to make our society civilized, just, and merciful. We cannot condone or accept the execution of any person in our names. Such an execution would coarsen us and corrode our civic morality. As men of faith, we are commanded to speak out when we see injustice in our world. Because of this spiritual commitment, we respectfully ask Governor Hickenlooper to commute Nathan Dunlap's sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole. We strongly believe this is the merciful, moral, and just action, which is in accordance with the teachings of our faiths.
KUSA-TV posts, "Family of Chuck E. Cheese killer Nathan Dunlap pleads for clemency," by Will Ripley.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper will be reviewing a stack of documents in the Nathan Dunlap case.
Dunlap killed four people at an Aurora Chuck E. Cheese on Dec. 14, 1993 and is set to be executed the week of Aug. 18.
Dunlap's petition for clemency includes never-before-seen interviews with his family.
Dunlap's defense team is trying to make case that years of psychological and sexual abuse led to his mental illness.
"Nathan Dunlap clemency appeal blasted by Arapahoe District Attorney," is by Karen Augé at the Denver Post.
In an impassioned, at times angry, rebuttal to Nathan Dunlap's petition for clemency, Arapahoe District Attorney George Brauchler calls on the governor to "take the courageous step" and reject the condemned killer's appeal.
The appeal, which asserted that Dunlap suffers from severe mental illness and is remorseful, offered no new evidence for saving Dunlap's life, Brauchler wrote in a 32-page response delivered Friday afternoon.
"He took the lives of four Colorado citizens, and justice requires he now pays with his own," Brauchler wrote.
The Boulder Daily Camera posts the AP report, "DA: Colorado governor shouldn't grant clemency to Nathan Dunlap."
The district attorney of the office that prosecuted a death-row inmate who killed four employees at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in 1993 is among those asking Gov. John Hickenlooper to take the "courageous step" of rejecting his clemency petition.
Nathan Dunlap's lawyers are seeking clemency while also fighting in court to try to spare him from execution for the Aurora slayings, which happened during a robbery. They say their client had undiagnosed bipolar disorder at the time.
Several letters to Hickenlooper that were released Friday say Dunlap's death sentence should be carried out. They were from Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler and Senior Chief Deputy District Attorney Matt Maillaro; the jury foreman in a separate Colorado death penalty case; and state Rep. Rhonda Fields.
Earlier coverage of Nathan Dunlap's case begins at the link.