Tags: | John Hickenlooper | Bob Beauprez | Colorado | governor

Colo. Gov's Reprieve for Death Row Killer Hurts Re-election Bid

Monday, 03 Nov 2014 01:28 PM

Democratic Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is facing a serious challenge on Tuesday from the unlikely GOP challenger Bob Beauprez partially due to the controversy surrounding the reprieve he gave to a killer on Death Row.

Hickenlooper, a two-time Denver mayor, had initially been a popular governor after he was elected in 2010 when he was then a supporter of capital punishment, according the Los Angeles Times.

But he’s had a quick fall from grace following his support of a far-reaching liberal agenda from the Democratic state legislature, supporting gay rights and gun control laws, that he signed into law in 2013.

But it’s the case of murderer Nathan Dunlop that has caused him the biggest problem of his campaign against Beauprez, a former congressman who had little backing when he threw his hat into the gubernatorial ring because he was beaten by 17 points in the 2006 race for governor.

In 1993, the then-19-year-old Dunlap killed four people and wounded one, three of them teenagers, at a Chuck E. Cheese pizza restaurant in Aurora, where he once worked.
In 2013, the victims’ families were outraged when shortly before Dunlap was to be executed, Hickenlooper granted him "an indefinite reprieve" for as long as he remained in office.

Beauprez, who has declared that Dunlap will be executed if he’s elected, has since attacked Hickenlooper as being soft-on-crime in a string of TV ads.

"Ladies and gentleman, it's time you have a governor who looks out for the rights of the citizens and especially the victims," he said at a recent rally.

Hickenlooper, who calls Dunlap a "monster," has had a change of heart about capital punishment since taking office, while noting that the killer will eventually die in prison anyway.

"I don't think government should be killing people who are no danger to society, no risk to society," said the governor, who refuted reports that he even planned to commute Dunlap’s sentence and set him free.

Hickenlopper added that although the news coverage and political ads suggest "that everyone wants this guy dead, especially the families of victims … that's really not the case."

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Democratic Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is facing a serious challenge on Tuesday from the unlikely GOP challenger Bob Beauprez partially due to the controversy surrounding the reprieve he gave to a killer on Death Row.
John Hickenlooper, Bob Beauprez, Colorado, governor
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2014-28-03
Monday, 03 Nov 2014 01:28 PM
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