Does Race Play A Role In The Death Penalty In Colorado?

With convicted Aurora theater shooter James Holmes appearing to be closer to a death penalty sentence, we've been looking at how a death sentence plays out in Colorado. A team from the University of Denver tells Colorado Matters today that it analyzed prosecutions from 1999-2010 and found that a defendant's race and the place the crime is committed are factors in whether death penalty cases are pursued.

If Holmes is sentenced to death, it would be the first time in six years that a defendant has faced such a punishment from jurors. He would join three other men on Colorado's death row.

Robert Ray, 29, was the last man sentenced to death by jurors in June 2009. The Department of Corrections uses the date that the judge formally affirms the sentence for their records; Ray was formally sentenced by a judge in 2010.