The Colorado General Assembly on Wednesday sent a bill to Gov. Jared Polis’ desk eliminating the state’s death penalty, forcing him to decide what comes next for the three men who are on death row and make the most consequential choice he’s faced since taking office last year. Polis has said he will sign the […]
The Death Penalty in Colorado
What you need to know about Colorado’s current death penalty law
Colorado lawmakers may soon repeal the death penalty in the state, so that makes this a good time to brush up on how the law actually works. Here’s a guide. Not every murder case is eligible for the death penalty Prosecutors in Colorado can seek a death sentence only in murder cases, but they must […]
He survived the Aurora Chuck E. Cheese shooting 25 years ago. A possible death penalty repeal is bringing it all back up.
COLORADO SPRINGS — He remembers the hum of the vacuum cleaner, the sound of closing time at the Aurora Chuck E. Cheese restaurant where he worked in 1993. He remembers the dishes and the clatter they made when he dropped them to the floor after being shot in the face. He remembers the sight of […]
Colorado law mandates which drugs be used for lethal injection. So what happens when they are no longer made?
Since the state’s last execution more than 20 years ago, Colorado juries have mulled capital punishment, and advocates on both sides have debated the merits of its deterrent effect, its morality, its cost and any number of factors related to its application. But amid nationwide controversy surrounding availability of drugs used for lethal injection, one […]
In 1997, Colorado’s first execution in 30 years marked a watershed moment. But did it change the conversation about capital punishment?
In the course of Colorado’s long conversation about capital punishment, the execution of Gary Lee Davis in 1997 would seem to be a significant mile marker on the road to resolving a question that has long divided the state’s residents. It had been 30 years since the state executed Luis Monge in the gas chamber, […]
TIMELINE: The death penalty in Colorado
The first murderer to be executed in Colorado — 160 years ago this April — was hanged from a cottonwood tree near Cherry Creek after a legal process that took all of three days to go from crime to punishment. The hanging of John Stoefel, who, in killing his brother-in-law, had committed Denver’s first murder, […]
“Those scars will always be there”: Rhonda Fields’ son was murdered by two of the three men on Colorado’s death row
For some people there is triumph over tragedy. For state Sen. Rhonda Fields, there is triumph alongside it. “My pastor told me long ago that I did not bury my son — that I planted him,” Fields said in a speech on the Colorado Senate floor in January. “And from planting him came the efforts […]
Colorado lawmakers will consider whether to repeal the death penalty again, as factors align for passage
For the fifth time in a dozen years, Democrats are pushing to abolish the death penalty in Colorado. And as they revive a conversation that has ebbed and flowed at the Capitol for more than a decade,the work appears to have more momentum toward passage than ever before. Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, supports abolition […]