Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Colorado House Votes Down Death Penalty

Anti-death penalty legislation barely squeezed through the Colorado House yesterday, passing by just one vote. It will still have to get through the Senate and Gov. Ritter's office before it can become law.

If the bill passes in the Senate, it is unclear as to whether Gov. Ritter will be receptive or not. As a former DA, he has typically been supportive of local prosecutors and they are in favor of keeping the death penalty. On the other hand, Ritter is a devout Roman Catholic (and even did missionary work for a couple of years in Africa) and is one of the rare elected Democrats to adhere to a pro-life position on abortion. Thus, he might well adhere to Catholic seemless-garment of life ethic, which advocates for the preservation of life "from conception until natural death."

On a related note, Gov. Bill Richardson of NM--also a devout Catholic--recently signed off on similar legislation in New Mexico so it will be interesting to see what parallels, if any, take place here in Colorado.

That being said, I was pleased to learn that Colorado has only executed one person since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. Hopefully, it will also be our last.

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At Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at 5:22:00 PM EST , Anonymous Michael Westmoreland-White said...

The Colorado legislature was sharp. They phrased their abolitionist bill so that the money saved by abolishing the dp will go to solve cold case murders!

That has to appeal to law and order types--even to Gov. Ritter?
BTW, studies have shown that the Catholic opposition to the death penalty is such that the more frequent one attends mass, the more anti-dp one is likely to be. Sadly, the opposite is the case for American evangelicals.


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