"In interview, Hickenlooper offers new anti-death penalty stance, light support for Keystone," is by Eli Stokols of KDVR-TV. There is video at the link.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat who faces reelection in the fall, told FOX31 Denver Sunday that he is officially anti-death penalty.
Hickenlooper told voters in 2010 that he supported capital punishment, but granted a temporary reprieve last May to convicted murderer Nathan Dunlap.
“My whole life I was in favor of the death penalty,” Hickenlooper told host Eli Stokols. “When Nathan Dunlap was being tried, it was a couple years after we opened the Wynkoop [Brewery] and it was like a family. We all watched it on TV. Everyone but one person I think felt he should be executed without question.
“But then you get all this information: it costs 10 times, maybe 15 times more money to execute someone than to put someone in prison for life without parole. There’s no deterrents to having capital punishment.
“And I don’t know about you, but when I get new facts, I’ll change my opinion. I didn’t know all of this stuff. There might be legitimate reasons why the U.S. — there’s not a single country in Europe or South America or Mexico or Israel or Australia — none of these countries support the death penalty any more, and there are good reasons for it.”
"John Hickenlooper opposes death penalty, but Nathan Dunlap could still die," is by Joey Bunch at the Denver Post.
John Hickenlooper said Sunday he has changed his mind since his first run for governor and now opposes the death penalty, but the immediate fate of convicted killer-turned-campaign-issue Nathan Dunlap is still unclear.
The next governor will decide when or if the man who killed four restaurant employees, including three teenagers, in 1993 will be put to death.
If it’s Hickenlooper’s Republican challenger, Bob Beauprez, there’s little doubt. “When I’m governor, Nathan Dunlap will be executed,” Beauprez said with authority to applause in a Colorado Christian University GOP debate in May.
Hickenlooper’s change of heart comes a year after he undermined a Democratic legislative push to repeal the state’s death penalty by suggesting he would veto it, which was two months before he gave Dunlap a “temporary reprieve” on his death sentence.
"GOP renews death-penalty attacks on Hickenlooper," is Ivan Moreno's AP filing, via the Coloradoan.
On Tuesday, the Republican Governors Association launched a television ad in Colorado hammering Hickenlooper on the death penalty. The ad says that “when it comes to making the tough decisions, Hickenlooper won’t step up to the table.”
In response, Hickenlooper has continued with his pledge to run a positive campaign and not engage with opponents’ attacks. His campaign released a statement countering the Republican Governors Association’s ad by saying Colorado’s unemployment rate is now at 5.3 percent, compared with just over 9 percent when Hickenlooper took office four years ago.
Recent polls have shown the race to be tied, adding more weight to issues that come up on the campaign.
“In a race that is viewed as being competitive, anything can matter,” said Norman Provizer, a professor of political science at Metropolitan State University of Denver. But, he said, he’s skeptical the death penalty is at the forefront of voters’ minds.