The Past…and the Future of the Death Penalty

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The question of death for convicted killers is front and center in Colorado. James Holmes, charged in the Aurora theater shootings, could ultimately face a death sentence. The execution of Nathan Dunlap, sentenced to death for murdering four in a Chuck-E-Cheese restaurant, could happen soon. In the meantime, Governor John Hickenlooper has hinted he might veto a bill that would abolish the death penalty. Today, we look at the history of the death penalty in Colorado. The last execution here took place in 1997. Former Adams county District Attorney Bob Grant prosecuted that case. He sits down with CPR’s Andrea Dukakis to talk about the moral challenges he faced. Then, a discussion with Mike Radelet, professor of Sociology at the University of Colorado Boulder, about the history of the death penalty.

[Photo: Courtesy of UC Berkeley School of Law]