Credit: Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post
Nathan Dunlap at a May 1, 2013 court hearing at the Arapahoe County Court in Division court room 408 in Centennial.
By: Karen Augéand and Lynn Bartels
The Denver Post
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Gov. John Hickenlooper on Wednesday issued an executive order granting convicted killer Nathan Dunlap a "temporary reprieve" from an execution that had been just three months away.
In an executive order that provides an indefinite stay of execution, Hickenlooper writes that the decision has weighed heavily on him.
He calls Dunlap's crimes "horrendous" — although nowhere in the order does he refer to Dunlap by name — and declares his respect for the jurors who handed down the death sentence.
But more than 15 years have passed since that decision, and those years have provided "the benefit of information that exposes an inequitable system," Hickenlooper's order states.
"It is a legitimate question whether we as a state should be taking lives," the order says. "Because the question is about the use of the death penalty itself, and not about Offender No. 89148, I have opted to grant a reprieve and not clemency in this case."