ABOLITION OF DEATH PENALTY BILL LOSES BY ONE VOTE
We are saddened and disappointed to announce that Colorado will not (yet) be join our sister state of New Mexico in abolishing the death penalty this year.
HB 1274, the bill that would abolish the death penalty, died in the Senate this afternoon by one vote, 17 in favor and 18 opposed. All the Republican Senators voted against the bill and were joined by Democrat Senators Morse, Hodge, Isgar, and Tochtrop. The bill had earlier passed in the House on a one-vote margin, 33-32.
Although this defeat is very bitter, CCJRC applauds and is so grateful to Senator Morgan Carroll and Representative Paul Weissmann for their incredible diligence, eloquence, and aggressive advocacy. Some legislators who voted in favor of the bill said that it was a very difficult decision, some agonized over the decision; some said it was an easy decision. Regardless of the journey, we thank all the legislators who voted to end the machinery of death.
CCJRC played only a very small role in this effort. The credit for the incredible and sophisticated organizing belongs with the members of Families of Homicide Victims and Missing Persons, Coloradoans Against the Death Penalty, Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, Catholic Coalition, Hunger for Justice, and the Colorado ACLU for their front-line efforts lobbying at the Capitol day after day after day. We also thank the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty for their tremendous assistance and expertise.
We are also so grateful to all of you who contacted legislators. It is pressure from constituents that will win this fight. We will keep you posted on plans for 2010.
Pam, Carol and Christie