The Clemency Petition and all supporting documents are available through the Office of the Federal Public Defender.
The Denver Post reports, "Nathan Dunlap lawyers challenge Colorado execution procedures, secrecy," by Karen Augé.
Attorneys for condemned killer Nathan Dunlap filed a civil lawsuit on Thursday, claiming the state Department of Corrections' execution protocol — at least as much of it as they have had access to — violates state law.
The lawsuit also challenges the DOC's practice of keeping details of its execution procedures secret.
"The protocol is so secret that it defies due process," said James Kilroy, one of the attorneys representing Dunlap in the civil suit.
"We've got lawyers and an inmate who literally don't know how state intends to carry this out."
What they do know about the process comes from a portion of an execution protocol, drafted in 2006, that has been released to Dunlap's attorneys, Kilroy said.
That document has been heavily redacted, but Kilroy said, "it refers to a three-drug protocol, where state statute indicates it should be a single drug."
"Attorneys file new challenge to execution of Nathan Dunlap in 1993 pizza restaurant slayings," is AP coverage by Dan Elliott. It's via the Republic.
The lawsuit filed Thursday says Colorado's death penalty law, which mandates execution by lethal injection, is too vague because does not specify all the drugs and dosage amounts that can be used.
It also says the law does not list required qualifications for the people who carry out the execution nor include medical safeguards, and that exposes Dunlap to the risk of "conscious and agonizing suffering."
The suit claims the Corrections Department has a "secret protocol" for executions, and that officials plan to use a combination of three execution drugs when the statute calls for using a single drug.
Today's Aurora Sentinel publishes the editorial, "Dunlap’s death sentence can’t lurk in the shadows of doubt." Here are brief excerpts from this must-read:
Despite the endless and excruciating pain Dunlap caused an exponential number of Aurora victims, none of those dead or wounded, none of those devastated by the deaths of loved ones will be made whole by Dunlap’s death. As much as we, and so many, wish that we could trade the lives of murderers for the murdered, it’s not so. We are not made safer as a community by executing murderers instead of locking them up for all their lives. Nothing we can do to murderers can ever repay or even mitigate the loss of victims. Exhaustive studies have shown repeatedly that the death penalty does not deter murderers from acting. If it were true, places like Texas would be free from homicides. The death penalty is about revenge, and revenge is not justice.
There is simply too much doubt about the effectiveness of the death penalty. There is too much doubt about whether Dunlap drew the sentence because of his race. There is too much doubt about whether Colorado residents have grown to see how barbaric and expensive it is. There is too much doubt about whether Dunlap’s circumstances, rather than his crimes, brought on a death sentence.
We beseech Hickenlooper and all Aurora residents to work to set aside Dunlap’s imminent execution and instead commit him to spend the rest of his life in prison. If not permanently, a stay of execution should be granted until lawmakers and voters have settled where Colorado voters are on the complicated issue of capital punishment.
The NAACP of Colorado has called for a commutation of Dunlap's death sentence. Rosemary Harris Lytle writes, "Grant Nathan Dunlap clemency from the death penalty." She's President of the NAACP Colorado/Montana/Wyoming State Conference. Her comments appear in today's Boulder Daily Camera.
Because of these and other concerns about the application of the death penalty in Colorado, the NAACP has joined with other civil rights activists, faith leaders, former law enforcement officials, educators, victim family members, mental health advocates and others who seek clemency.
Nathan Dunlap must spend the rest of his life in prison.
Westword reports more on Dunlap's clemency petition, "Nathan Dunlap clemency bid: 'No principled reason' to execute quadruple murderer," is by Michael Roberts.
The request begins with criticisms of the death penalty and the way it's utilized in this country. Bishop James Gonia of the Lutheran Evangelical Church believes that "executions harm society by mirroring and reinforcing existing injustice. The death penalty distracts us from our work toward a just society. It deforms our response to violence at the individual, familial, institutional, and systemic levels. It perpetuates cycles of violence." Likewise, Nita Gonzales and Gene Lucero of the Colorado Latino forum maintain that "race and class should not be the consistent determinants of who gets executed."
Then, former Colorado Supreme Court Justice Jean Dubofsky, representing twelve other ex-judges, gets specific about Dunlap.
Earlier coverage of Nathan Dunlap's case begins at the link.