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May 5, 2009

Effort to repeal death penalty in Colorado now faltering

According to this New York Times article, the on-going efforts to repeal the death penalty in Colorado had a rough day in the state senate.  Here are some details:

An effort to repeal Colorado’s death penalty law stumbled Monday in the State Senate after two hours of sometimes anguished and angry debate, leaving the bill in limbo and supporters scrambling to find votes as the end of the session looms this week.

The Colorado House voted in support of repeal, by a single vote majority, last month. In their debate, lawmakers focused on questions of deterrence, certainty or doubt in the age of genetic evidence, and, far from least in the mix, money in a time of shrinking government resources.

As proposed, the bill would have redirected about $1 million now devoted to death penalty costs to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for investigating unsolved crimes known as cold cases.  But the amendment that passed on a voice vote Monday pledged new money for cold cases — popular with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle — but made no mention of the death penalty....

Contrary to the myths and legends of rough justice, most of the West — with the major exception of California — did not race back to imposing the death penalty after 1976, when the United States Supreme Court allowed states to resume the practice.

Colorado, Montana and Wyoming each have only two inmates on death row, as did New Mexico when it repealed its death penalty law in March, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, a Washington-based research group that opposes capital punishment. Colorado has executed only one person since 1976.

May 5, 2009 at 07:12 AM | Permalink


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Of all the attacks on the death penalty, the most despicable is the one perpetrated in Colorado. In order to drive a wedge between two groups of murder victims' families, the death penalty opponents there told the families in the... [Read More]

Tracked on May 5, 2009 1:48:50 PM


Repeal the death penalty. All crimes after the first murder have absolute immunity.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 5, 2009 7:20:57 AM

Hi Professor Berman. I'm an AFPD. DJ is a wonderful asset to us here.

Please post:

The Death Penalty Bill is not dead yet. The bills' sponsors are still working on getting the DP vote to the Senate floor. Opponents of the bill are trying to sever the DP and the cold case funding but we do not see that happening.
As I write this, a new vote is still possible, but time is of the essence.
Please email and call now!
Senator Brandon Shaffer, Boulder, 303-866-5291; brandon@brandonshaffer.com ;

Senator John Morse, El Paso County, 303-866-6364;

Senator Jim Isgar, Archuleta, Dolores, LaPlata, Montezuma, Montrose, Ouray,
San Juan & San Miguel Counties; 303-866-4884, isgarsenate@frontier.net

Posted by: VG | May 5, 2009 12:22:19 PM

I hope this shameless gimmick on the part of death-penalty abolitionists gets defeated once and for all. Presenting a phony choice between either having a death penalty or having a cold-case squad is really the lowest of the low.
If you're against the DP, it's fine with me. Just have an up-or-down vote on abolishing it without cynically linking it to anything else.

Posted by: Alpino | May 6, 2009 1:17:43 AM

It just makes no sense that continue to have the death penalty when it does nothing other than increase costs to prosecute criminals. If the money were spent in prosecuting more criminals or expanding capacity or better yet deterring by providing greater economic opportunity we all be better off.

Posted by: kathy@orange county wrongful death attorney | Jun 13, 2009 7:26:14 PM

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