opinion

Letter to the editor: Anti-death penalty

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It is time to end the death penalty in Colorado. It is expensive, unfairly applied, and unnecessary for plea bargaining. As a librarian within the criminal justice system, I have come to know several men serving life without parole sentences. These men only got to those sentences after long, expensive capital trials that would’ve been shorter and cheaper if the death penalty hadn’t been pursued. Life without parole would’ve been the result either way. As a taxpayer, I do not want to help foot the bills of pointless death penalty cases. A capital punishment trial can cost 23 times as much as a life without parole trial.

Since 1980, that has come to $1.5 million a year in Colorado. On top of this, the death penalty is unfairly applied. In Colorado, people of color are five times more likely to face the death penalty.

Recently, Curtis Flowers, a man of color from Mississippi who was tried six times for the same murder —four convictions were overturned and two ended in mistrials — took his case to the Supreme Court where he was granted a new trial, and, eventually, bail. There
has not been an execution in Colorado since 1997. Support for the death penalty is at the lowest level since 1972.

I am asking Senator Jesse Danielson to please vote in favor of death penalty repeal in Colorado. Now is the time to put an end to it. 

Kasey Butcher Santana,

Lakewood

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