UPDATE: Hickenlooper might grant clemency to death-row inmate

Hickenlooper might grant clemency to death-row inmate

DENVER - Governor John Hickenlooper makes an astonishing statement about the killer in the massacre at the Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in Aurora in December 1993.

The governor said he might grant clemency to convicted killer Nathan Dunlap.

Hickenlooper granted a reprieve to Dunlap in May 2013, shortly before his scheduled execution.

"If somehow the Republicans won, there are obvious remedies that the governor can do, you know, I can give a full clemency between Election Day and the end of the year."

Eddie Stern, a spokesman with the Hickenlooper campaign said: "The governor has no plans to revisit his decision in this case. He expressed his position on the clemency issue in May of 2013 when he signed the executive order on this matter and his position has not changed since then.  No matter what, Nathan Dunlap will die in prison."

Bobby Stephens was the lone survivor of Dunlap's shooting spree. He has spoken to KRDO NewsChannel 13 in March 2013 after the death penalty was debated at the state capitol.

"I feel he has no remorse for everything he is done. I think he is laughing and giggling because he has been able to play every loophole the state of Colorado has to offer," said Stephens.

When Hickenlooper granted Dunlap a reprieve, Stephens said he felt justice was not served for himself and victims' families.

Stephens said Dunlap looked him in the eyes and shot him that night in December.  He played dead. Dunlap wrote Stephens a letter apologizing, but Stephens didn't feel it was remorseful. Stephens said he struggled for a long time wondering if he could have done anything differently that night. Stephens found out from the person that delivered him that letter that had Dunlap known Stephens was still alive, he would have shot him again.

"I looked at Nathan Dunlap as he entered the kitchen area and looked him straight in the eyes. He smiled at me and then shot me," said Stephens.

Bob and Marj Crowell lost their daughter Sylvia in the shooting spree. They were shocked in May that Dunlap's attorney's would seek clemency.

"I would feel like the knife that's been in my back for 19.5 years has been turned violently," said Bob Crowell.

The timing of the governor's latest statement has UCCS political science professor Josh Dunn shaking his head.  

"One of the primary criticisms of the governor is that he's been indecisive," Dunn said. "By bringing the public's attention back to this non-decision he made initially that he was going to grant a temporary reprieve, it just reminds the public he couldn't make a decision in the first place."  

Hickenlooper is locked in a tight reelection bid against republican Bob Beauprez

The former Colorado congressman believes his Democratic opponent shows weakness on the Dunlap issue.

"It might be me who brings justice to Nathan Dunlap, but I will faithfully execute the laws of Colorado," Beauprez said. "John seems to have a tough time making decisions, exercising leadership and telling us where he stands."

Dunn believes the Hickenlooper-Beauprez race will be one of the closest in the nation come November.

There are currently three inmates on the Colorado Department of Corrections death row roster.

comments powered by Disqus

Must See Videos

  • VIDEO: Woman has close encounter with a bear in her garage
  • Dad makes a great catch gives ball to little girl
  • Matt's Wednesday Evening Forecast 6/28/17
  • Air Force Thunderbirds to perform at Pikes Peak Regional Air Show