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Death penalty lives on in Colorado

In a recent post, we discussed how lawmakers were fervently working to repeal the death penalty in Colorado. Gov. Hickenlooper had even made comments that served as encouragement for death penalty opponents. But their hopes, for now, have been met with rejection.

On Tuesday, a vote put a hard-to-swallow halt on the effort to do away with execution as sentencing in the state. Supporters of the bill are disappointed, some even surprised. They felt that they had enough votes to at least get the bill to the governor himself.

It turns out however, that Gov. Hickenlooper's most recently shared views on the sensitive state matter might have swayed votes in a House committee. A 6-4 vote against the anti-death penalty bill puts lawmakers back at to the point of wondering how they can get enough votes for the death of Colorado's death penalty.

The general argument that kept the bill from moving forward is that most Colorado constituents are not ready to move forward with the change. Lawmakers who voted against the bill defend their decision by claiming their rejection was in the best interests of voters who need more time to consider the matter.

No one has been executed in Colorado since 1997, but there are people on death row now (people whose futures wouldn't have been saved by the enactment of the recent proposal.) And, based on this recent vote, death row will continue to be a threat for the men and women charged with violent crimes in Colorado.

Capital punishment will surely remain a topic of passionate debate in the state. Our Colorado criminal defense lawyers aggressively pursue justice and the best possible outcome for those charged with crimes of violence and who face the threat of execution in Colorado.

Source: The Denver Post, "Colorado committee rejects death penalty repeal; sponsor blames Gov. Hickenlooper," Kurtis Lee and Lynn Bartels, March 26, 2013

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