Skip to comments.Hickenlooper grants reprieve to death row inmate Nathan Dunlap (Colorado)
Posted on 05/22/2013 9:48:39 PM PDT by beaversmom
DENVER Gov. John Hickenlooper decided Wednesday to grant a reprieve to convicted killer Nathan Dunlap, who was set to be executed in August for killing four people at a Chuck E. Cheeses restaurant.
The temporary reprieve comes in the form of an executive order signed by Hickenlooper. It will delay Dunalps execution indefinitely.
The reprieve can only be lifted with another executive order, and Hickenlooper said at a 2 p.m. news conference its highly unlikely he will revisit the issue again. That means it would be up to his successor to decide to stay the execution or allow it to resume.
This weighed on me heavily for a year, Hickenlooper said in explaining his decision to reporters. He spoke slowly and deliberately.
I could not find the justice in making a decision to allow Dunlap to die, he said.
Hickenlooper said he believes capital punishment is inequitable and added, If the state has to take responsibility of executing someone, the system must be flawless. He also noted the number of states in the US, and countries around the world, that have decided to outlaw capital punishment.
In an interview with FOX31 Denver after the press conference, Hickenlooper acknowledged being lobbied by death penalty opponents the world over he got a phone call from Archbishop Desmond Tutu earlier this year and being convinced that the death penalty is bad policy.
If its not a deterrent, and if in many cases its not providing closure, and at the cost of a fortune to the state, why are we doing it? Hickenlooper said.
This from a governor who, back in March, blocked legislation that sought to repeal Colorados death penalty outright. Hickenlooper, ever focused on process, said at the time that state had yet to weigh in on the issue.
In his Executive Order, he states that he believes his decision will continue the statewide discussion on the issue.
This wasnt the right thing to do, politically, Hickenlooper said. Weve made a lot of people mad. But I tried to get all the information I could and immerse myself and really try to come to a place where this is the right decision, not just for me, but for Colorado.
And I feel very centered in that. Long-term, I think this is the right decision for Colorado.
Before the news conference, Hickenlooper met with families of Dunlaps victims. He admitted that they were disappointed with his decision.
Immediately after Hickenloopers decision was made public, both sides of the capital punishment debate gave their opinions.
House Minority Leader Mark Waller released a statement calling Hickenloopers decision disappointing.
Its a failure in leadership that is illustrative of the Governors unwillingness to make the difficult decisions Coloradans expect him to make, Waller said.
The Governors executive order strips victims and their families of the justice they deserve. For twenty years, victims families have worked within our legal system to see justice delivered. The Governors reprieve does a disservice not only to the victims families, but also to the jurors who convicted Dunlap and to the people of Colorado.
State Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, who is considering challenging Hickenlooper in 2014, also attended the governors press conference and criticized the decision afterward.
This was the worst possible decision, Brophy said. t was completely gutless, another example of a lack of leadership from Gov. Hickenlooper. He puts this off to somebody else to solve this problem.
Dunlaps attorneys sent a statement supporting Hickenloopers decision saying: We agree with Governor Hickenloopers well-reasoned decision to grant Nathan Dunlap a reprieve and indefinitely stay his execution. There has been widespread and diverse support from hundreds of people and organizations in Colorado who support permanently commuting Nathan Dunlaps sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The Archbishop of Denver also gave a statement of support and went a step further saying now is the moment for Colorado to repeal the death penalty.
When will Americans open their eyes to recognize that violence only begets violence? We who stood for the life of Nathan Dunlap should work together to end violence undertaken in our state, in the womb, and in our hearts, Rev. Samuel J. Aquila wrote in a statement.
Video: DA George Brauchler expresses outrage at Gov. Hickenloopers decision on Nathan Dunlap
Chickenlooper must go.
Democrats grant life to killers, and steal freedom from the law abiding, and cut the spines of babies.
Truer monsters there never were.
God damn them all.
Colorado needs to Cowboy Up and throw these liberal interlopers out the door.
Well, of course he did. He’s a leftist anti-gun RAT.
As I’ve said prior, I hope Hugh Hewitt, Michael Medved, Karl Rove, and any other piece of crap that stuck their nose in it—frickin’ outsiders—are very happy they denigrated and bad mouthed Tom Tancredo every chance they got in 2010 and prior.
Ya’ll in CO have a real douschebag for a governor!
God damn them all.
Truer words there never were!
Ironically, the Democrat mice who elected the scumbag Hickenlooper are the same mice most likely to reap the rewards of this decision: More brazen murders in the concentrated Democrat parasite nests (”cities”). Congratulations to them.
He's also where you utilize that tool!
Tom Tancredo? Respectfully...no thanks, we conservatives can, and should do much, much better.
The press has time to interview politicians and clergy, but not talk to the parents of the murdered victim....puke
He is what we had in 2010 and he had the best shot after all the Republicans imploded. He was doing very well and if people hadn’t been badmouthing him, we wouldn’t have gun control right now and we wouldn’t have this travesty and a half-dozen other things with an out of control Dem legislature and governor.
I wanted to post a more balanced article...it was a Denver source, but from the AP. I don’t think we can post AP stuff here. I’ll share the link though for further reading if anyone is interested:
Gov. Hickenlooper Delays Nathan Dunlaps Execution
I guess the four people murdered at the Chuck E. Cheese restaurant weren’t family to the Chickenpoop.
20 yrs living after murdering 4....does ...not...seem...right...
Marjorie and Bob Crowell's 19-year-old daughter Sylvia Crowell was killed at the Chuck E. Cheese's shooting on Dec. 14, 1993. It was closing time and Sylvia was cleaning the salad bar when Nathan Dunlap, also 19, came up behind her and shot her in the head. Dunlap had recently been fired from the restaurant.
He went on to kill Ben Grant, 17, as he cleaned nearby and Colleen O'Connor, 17, who was cleaning the rowdy restaurant's quiet room for adults when Dunlap approached her. She begged for her life, but he showed no mercy. Dunlap also killed the restaurant's 50-year-old manager Margaret Kohlberg.
All four died from gunshot wounds to the head.
He also shot Bobby Stephens in the jaw and Stephens, 20 at the time, was the sole survivor.
"We have missed her terribly and we just wonder why somebody would do that," Bob Crowell, 77, told ABCNews.com. "She hadn't done anything to hurt anybody."
Marjorie Crowell, 71, noted that this December will be the 19th anniversary of their daughter's death and Sylvia was 19 when she was killed.
“She was killed in 1993 and it was a long time before the trial occurred,” Crowell said. “It seems that we have to suffer a little more every time there’s a delay and every time there’s something else happening. We’re interested in what’s happening, but it’s still trying on our patience and it saddens us every time we think about it.”