Death penalty repeal effort sparks 9 hour testimony

Prisoner Appeal on Death Roworiginally by: 
published: 18 March 2013

The battle over Colorado’s death penalty began in earnest Tuesday, when a measure to repeal capital punishment in the state drew nine hours of emotional testimony during the bill’s first hearing before lawmakers.

Finally, around 11 p.m., the House Judiciary Committee, at the sponsor’s request, decided to postpone a vote on House Bill 1264, which is still expected to be approved and eventually move to the full House for debate.

The committee’s chairman, Rep. Daniel Kagan, D-Denver, also told reporters the decision to put off the vote made sense because lawmakers shouldn’t be deciding such a weighty issue when they’re exhausted from such a long day of debate.

All afternoon and late into the evening, dozens of people, on both sides of the issue, told compelling personal stories, including Robert Dewey, who was exonerated of a murder charge last year after serving 18 years in prison.

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