May 7th, 2009
Yesterday a Colorado bill that would have repealed the death penalty and dedicated the savings to solving cold cases failed by just one vote in the Senate. The Colorado House voted in favor of repeal by one vote last month. The bill would have redirected $1 million currently spent on the death penalty to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for investigating unsolved crimes known as cold cases of which Colorado has 1,400. Senator Morgan Carroll, a Democratic co-sponsor of the bill, believed passage of this legislation would have resulted in more cases solved and more killers held accountable. “Justice at least means: find the person who did it,” Ms. Carroll stated.
Though the bill did not pass, with a vote of 17-18 in favor of the legislation, yet another state demonstrates that public confidence and support of the death penalty is faltering. Citizens are becoming more educated about the failure of the death penalty as a public policy and lawmakers are listening. The death penalty is often hailed as serving victims and their families, but with precious resources spent on pursuing the death penalty, at least 1,400 victims of murder in Colorado have yet to have their cases solved. What about those victims and their families?
Kudos to all in Colorado whose organizing efforts catapulted that state’s movement towards abolition into the national spotlight and who are now poised for success in the next legislative session.