Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

House Moves To End The Death Penalty

The Denver Post
Colorado's death penalty took one step toward the grave Wednesday as lawmakers in the state House gave initial approval to a bill that would end capital punishment and use the savings to solve cold cases.

Debate ranged from the morality of the state putting criminals to death to the effectiveness of the penalty as a deterrent to crime.

In the end, five Democrats joined Republicans in opposing House Bill 1274, but it wasn't enough to kill the legislation.

House Majority Leader Paul Weissmann, the bill sponsor, said he's not celebrating just yet as the role call vote of the House Thursday will be challenging.

He's pitching his bill as a way to reduce state expenses and increase public safety by helping to put away some of Colorado's 1,400 unconvicted murderers.

"You can debate all day long the morality of the death penalty. 'Eye for an eye.' 'Thou shall not kill.' You'll never resolve it," said Weissmann, D-Louisville. "Any other part of government that spent this much money and was so rarely used, would be one of the first things we set out to cut."