Colorado House Votes to Repeal Death Penalty

Colorado is a major step closer to eliminating the death penalty. The bill to repeal it and use the savings on solving cold cases passed the House by a single vote today. It now goes to the Senate.

The last death penalty case in Colorado cost $1.4 million to prosecute. It costs about $70,000 for a non-capital murder case.

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    From what I understand (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by MikeDitto on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 01:36:50 PM EST
    Governor Ritter is saying he will veto the bill, but I think he can be moved.

    Setting aside the moral wrong of state-sanctioned murder, it's a budgetary nightmare.

    Colorado spends millions and millions of dollars prosecuting and defending death penalty cases and to what end? We have exactly one person on death row (the Chuck E Cheese killer). Not a very effective use of those millions.

    The state just slashed funding for kids' healthcare because we are out of money. In general, it's widely accepted that cutting programs that don't work is good fiscal policy. Kids' healthcare works. The death penalty doesn't.

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by MrConservative on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 06:20:03 PM EST
    Richardson also had a lifetime of supporting the death penalty.  He signed the bill.  One plus is that Ritter is a catholic; Catholics, in my experience, have been the only group that has been reasonably anti-death penalty besides the far left humanists.  He may support the death penalty now, but like with Richardson, having his religion saying that he should sign the bill will make it a lot more plausible; contrasting to those moderates who's religion is 100% pro DP, and whom there's really no hope for.

    Really one of the things that have made the DP so long lasting in America has been that religion is ON ITS SIDE, which is the opposite of practically everywhere besides the middle east.  It's ironic that the protestants, who were supposed to be liberal, have become massively more conservative than the Catholics over time.


    We have two people... (none / 0) (#4)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 02:04:41 PM EST
    ...on death row--Nathan Dunlop and Robert Harlan.  In '03 there were 3 additional people, but I believe their sentences (handed down by a 3 judge panel) were overturned?  

    Also, Governor Ritter has not voiced either his opposition or support for this measure.  


    We're both wrong (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by MikeDitto on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 10:02:40 PM EST
    Harlan's sentence was overturned. The second death row inmate is Sir Mario Owens, whose appeal process has only just begun, as he was only sentenced last summer.

    Ritter hasn't made any public comments as far as I know, but the buzz at the capitol is that he's indicated to staff he'll veto. But like I say I think he can be moved, especially if the archbishop makes a strong statement of support for the repeal.


    How could I miss... (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 10:05:54 AM EST
    ...Sir Mario!  Oh well, not the first time I've been wrong.  

    The Gov. certainly seems to be content to keep a very low profile these days--as evidenced by his silence on the whole Pinnicol/budget mess.  Hope he remembers he's got a re-election campaign coming up.

    He's going to catch heck from the usual suspects no matter what he does, I just hope he shows a little leadership and doesn't veto this if it makes it through the Senate.  


    Long way to go (none / 0) (#37)
    by Mikeb302000 on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 07:34:29 AM EST
    This one has a long way to go, but even if the gov. vetoes it, this creates good press for the abolition movement.

    Yesterday's paper on death penalty (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by caseyOR on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 01:54:08 PM EST
    Yesterday's Oregonian had a front page story asking  "Can Oregon afford the death penalty?" The point was that the death penalty is so friggin' expensive, and the state is so friggin' close to financial collapse that it may be time to revisit the death penalty. District attorneys are up in arms at the very thought.

    I would prefer that the death penalty be ended because it is bad on its merits, but I'll take what I can get.

    Thanks to that #@%*& citizen initiative process, we now spend more state monies on prisons than we do on higher education. Some people have started questioning those priorities. Perhaps this budget discussion is the all important first step.

    Boy howdy, are the district attorneys upset about the possibility of no death penalty.

    maybe they could just (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 02:54:24 PM EST
    defend themselves.

    Well, (none / 0) (#7)
    by bocajeff on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 02:56:55 PM EST
    You run up the cost of something and then complain that the cost is too high. Very smart strategy.

    thank you (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 02:57:46 PM EST
    Well, if it's illegal, execution (none / 0) (#9)
    by andgarden on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 03:26:27 PM EST
    should be really, really, hard. There is no humane or sane way to reduce the cost, IMO.

    lets cut to the chase (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 03:34:33 PM EST
    there is no humane or sane way to carry out an execution.  period.

    That's not a position that's going to do it (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by andgarden on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 03:37:15 PM EST
    for everyone. "It's not worth it" is a compelling secondary argument.

    and thats fine (none / 0) (#12)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 03:39:07 PM EST
    whatever works.  but he above in my personal opinion.

    right (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 04:51:10 PM EST
    no reason to set any kind or moral example.
    also our response to violent crime, which distinguishes us from pretty much the rest of the civilized world, has had such a spectacular success in curbing violent crime in this country.
    no reason at all. as long as we have China, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and the Congo on our side we are cool.

    Conservatives crack me up (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by ricosuave on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 08:07:40 PM EST
    They don't trust the government enough to decide what level of arsenic might be dangerous in water, but they are fully confident in the government's ability to decide who should live and who should die.

    Of course, that is a canard from my own point of view.  Even if the criminal justice system were perfect at identifying guilty people, I would still be opposed to the government killing people.


    for some reason (none / 0) (#19)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 05:25:28 PM EST
    I am reminded of a quote from a great movie appropriately enough titled To Die For in which Nicole Kidman plays a vacuous aspiring tv personality.  at one point she says something like "if everyone was on tv we would all be better people.  after all, what is the point of doing something good if no one is watching?"

    what a sad strange world (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 05:31:33 PM EST
    you live in

    I wonder (5.00 / 4) (#23)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 05:41:03 PM EST
    how do you explain the paradox that we are the only 1st world counrty that has the death penalty and we have the highest murder rate in the world (afaik) certainly the highest in the 1st world.

    are we simply not executing enough people?


    wow (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 05:50:18 PM EST
    I have never heard anyone defend the death penalty without trotting out the old deterrent saw.  I am rather speechless.   congratulations, not an easy feat.

    I would just say perhaps they want that because our culture has told them they "deserve" it (which may explain the number of murders in the first place, but I digress) and suggest it might be a good idea to start changing that mindset.

    and agree to disagree.


    Stupid (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by MrConservative on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 06:28:42 PM EST
    "However, in a larger sociological standpoint, there is no good reason."

    This isn't even an argument.  Stating something doens't make it true. The death penalty is a disgusting, evil atrocity.

    "Will people be happier in that world? Will the world be more stable? Hard to argue otherwise."

    It's easy to argue otherwise.  That would be a violent, sadistic world full of people like you.  I don't want my children within a thousand feet of scum like you.


    What? (none / 0) (#31)
    by MrConservative on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 06:27:10 PM EST
    "there is no reason not to give it to them."

    I think you're a piece of violent scum.  Let's stick the needle in you.  


    Because, seriously? (none / 0) (#38)
    by sj on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 09:39:47 AM EST
    ... American people want blood from violent scums, and there is no reason not to give it to them.

    I'm thinking we should just throw them in there with half-starved lions and then sell tickets.  I agree with Capt Howdy -- yours is a strange and sad world.  This may come as a shock to you, but the entire population is not sociopathic.


    I DO find it strange (none / 0) (#43)
    by sj on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 03:33:08 PM EST
    and sad and twisted.  

    While, apparently, you find it natural.


    Life (none / 0) (#30)
    by MrConservative on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 06:25:17 PM EST
    As I posted elsewhere... (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Romberry on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 04:27:04 PM EST
    I don't think civilized societies of the modern era engage in the vengeance/retribution of state sanctioned murder, AKA capital punishment. The United States is the last western industrialized nation on earth the retains execution (of potentially innocent people) as an option, and among the supporters of that option, the cries are to do it faster, more often and with less due process. The blood lust is strong.

    I used to support capital punishment but the more I learned about it, the less I thought it was a good idea until finally, in my mid-20's, I abandoned any defense of the idea at all. I also gotta say that statements like "Factual innocence is not a bar to execution" from a sitting USSC justice (who contends that as long as you've had due process, late evidence of innocence should not be able to save you) didn't do much to make me believe that the capital punishment system (which sentences the poor and minorities to death at rates many times higher than the well represented well-heeled) was anything close to fair or an avenue for justice.

    If Colorado can repeal the death penalty, I applaud them and hope other states follow suit.

    Execution (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by MrConservative on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 06:22:34 PM EST
    Is ALWAYS immoral, period.  The practical considerations that make the death penalty idiotic just show how you immoral people are also completely unreasonable.

    "always immoral, period" (1.00 / 0) (#34)
    by diogenes on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 08:04:16 PM EST
    Funny, when people use that phrase about wanting a society without abortion they are shouted out of the room as being extremists.
    I didn't know that the US had a state religion that defined morality and whose tenets led us to pick laws.

    Bravo (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 12:08:24 PM EST
    I wish "liberal" California were as wise.

    One solution (none / 0) (#28)
    by MrConservative on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 06:21:29 PM EST
    Would be to execute innocent people.  Good idea!

    How do you know they are innocent? (none / 0) (#33)
    by JSN on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 06:52:26 PM EST