Reprieve Fallout: One Politician Goes After Governor's Seat

Mireya Garcia, Telemundo Anchor/NC13 Reporter, Twitter: @Mireya_G, m.garcia@krdo.com
POSTED: 05:32 PM MDT May 23, 2013 
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

A flood of angry people after Governor John Hickenlooper grants mass murderer Nathan Dunlap a temporary reprieve for his execution.

Some people are calling the governor's decision a slap in the face to victims, their families, and everyone who participated in the case.

“Is it just and moral? if you make a decision to take this person's life is it of benefit to the world,” said Hickenlooper during a Wednesday press conference.

After Hickenlooper's controversial decision, one politician has taken the opportunity to announce his plans to run for the governor's seat.

Tom Tancredo said he wants to be Colorado’s next governor.

“The governor is a nice guy.  I know him, been on stage with him, debated him. He is a nice guy but he's not a leader, and the state needs leadership,” said Tancredo.

The one survivor of Dunlap’s rampage at an Aurora Chuck E. Cheese said he feels betrayed.

“I feel like the wind's been kicked straight out of me. I kind of feel like everyone has turned against the victims,” said sole survivor Bobby Stephens.

Dunlap's trial was held in El Paso County in 1996 after a change of venue. It was El Paso County jurors who decided Dunlap should be put to death.

Dunlap had an outburst in court after he found out his fate.

Current El Paso County district attorney Dan May said Governor Hickenlooper is not respecting the will of jurors.

“(They) sat, took weeks out of their lives, felt they came to a just decision….We have a good justice system. We needed our governor to trust that system,” said May.

Phil Cherner, Dunlap's attorney, said he and Dunlap are thankful for Governor Hickenlooper's decision.

The reprieve doesn't mean Dunlap is saved from the death penalty forever. A new governor could overturn the decision. It won't be Hickenlooper, though. He's already said he won't look at this case again.