Today's Denver Post publishes the editorial, "Robert Autobee's appeal for killer is admirable."
We can't recall seeing anything quite like it: The father of a murder victim not only coming out against capital punishment for his son's killer, but actually protesting pursuit of the death penalty in front of prospective jurors.
But that's what Robert Autobee, father of slain corrections officer Eric Autobee, did Monday outside the Douglas County Courthouse.
"My son wouldn't want the death penalty," he told a line of potential jurors, according to a Denver Post article by Jordan Steffen.
Autobee believes the death penalty is wrong, wastes money and does not deter violent crime. And we agree, although based on polling from last year, it appears a majority of Coloradans are of another mind on the issue.
"Potential jurors in death penalty case hear protests from victim's dad," is the Post's news coverage by Jordan Steffen.
Hundreds of potential jurors lined up outside the Douglas County Courthouse on Monday morning as jury selection started in the death penalty case against Edward Montour, who killed corrections officer Eric Autobee more than a decade ago.
As they huddled in freezing temperatures, Eric Autobee's father, Bob, walked up and down the long line carrying a photo of his son and protesting the decision to seek the death penalty against the man who killed him.
A total of 3,500 summonses were sent out, and jury selection is expected to take as long as two months. Opening arguments will likely begin in March.
Up to 600 potential jurors were expected at the courthouse on Monday, and hundreds more will arrive throughout the next couple of weeks.
Autobee did not shout at the crowd but instead calmly spoke with them. His heavy message was suspended in frozen breaths as eyes darted toward and away from him.
Westword posts, "Bob Autobee forgives Edward Montour for son's murder as death-penalty trial begins," by Alan Prendergast. There is video at the link.
With only one execution logged in the past 45 years, Colorado's death penalty is practically on life support itself -- and about to be severely tested by three high-profile cases in coming months. Yet the man who might, in effect, pull the plug on the practice in our state isn't some steely eyed nun or bleeding-heart governor, but an unlikely convert to the cause: Bob Autobee, the father of a corrections officer bludgeoned to death by an inmate in 2002.
Over more than a decade since then, Bob Autobee has experienced firsthand the interminable delays and ordeals of a capital case.
"Potential jurors begged to reject death penalty in Colorado prison killing," is AP coverage, via the Colorado Springs Gazette.
The father of a corrections officer killed more than a decade ago carried a sign Monday along a line of potential jurors, urging them not to impose the death penalty if they convict the inmate accused of the killing.
Bob Autobee also carried a photo of his son, with a message to prosecutors that it is wrong to seek death against Edward Moutour in the 2002 death of Officer Eric Autobee.
"My son wouldn't want the death penalty," he told the shivering crowd. "Do you believe in the death penalty? You're going to have to decide."
Earlier coverage of Bob Autobee begins at the link.