Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.”     Frederick Bastiat

May 7, 2009

Colorado Senate Defeats Death Penalty Repeal by 1 Vote

by Stephen Littau

Like déjà vu but this time in reverse, the Colorado Senate voted down the bill which would repeal the death penalty and use the savings to fund cold case homicide investigations by a single vote*. Though the Senate stripped out the death penalty provision just 15 minutes before the scheduled vote on Monday, the conference committee decided to put the death penalty back on the table to force each Senator to directly say “yea” or “nay” on the controversial issue. All 14 Republicans (mostly “pro-life” Republicans to be sure) plus 4 Democrats decided once again that its perfectly okay for the State of Colorado to kill.

Of the 4 Democrats who joined the majority, Mary Hodge who is opposed to the death penalty was quoted in The Denver Post as saying “It’s the hardest vote I’ve ever taken.” She went on to explain that she voted against the bill because she didn’t like how it conflated the issues of the death penalty and cold case funding.

Well congratulations Mary, Mary, quite contrary! Thanks to your vote the death penalty will remain. I hope you can sleep well at night knowing that you missed an opportunity to repeal this repugnant punishment because you felt the issues of the death penalty and cold case funding “are not connected.”

I beg to differ.

Colorado has limited resources to dedicate to criminal justice; the death penalty consumes nearly $1 million of those resources annually**. The victims of unsolved homicides have just as much right to bring their killers to justice as those whose killers have been convicted.

Most disappointing of all is the idea that far too many people have far too much faith in their government and their criminal justice system despite its many flaws.


*The House passed the same bill by a single vote in late April.

**Despite only executing one person since 1976 with only 2 individuals currently on death row.

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8 Comments

  1. “Well congratulations Mary, Mary, quite contrary!”

    Lol, good one.

    I had hope for this bill, I should have known better.

    Comment by Aimee — May 7, 2009 @ 12:21 pm
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  3. EXCELLENT!! Great Victory for Liberty and for the libertarian movement, and against the forces of criminal fascism and political correctness.

    Comment by Eric Dondero — May 12, 2009 @ 5:51 am
  4. Simple equation:

    Anti-Death Penalty = Pro-Murder, Pro-Criminal & Pro-Nanny-State

    Pro-Death Penalty = Pro-Freedom, Pro-Gun, and Pro-Masculine Values

    Comment by Eric Dondero — May 12, 2009 @ 5:53 am
  5. Donero,

    Anti-Death Penalty = Pro-Murder, Pro-Criminal & Pro-Nanny-State
    Pro-Death Penalty = Pro-Freedom, Pro-Gun, and Pro-Masculine Values

    Is that really the best you can do? Surly you can argue your case for the death penalty in complete sentences! If so, perhaps I could challenge you to a Point/Counterpoint on this issue? If you can actually make a compelling argument, it might make for an interesting debate. If not, I’m sure someone else would be willing to accept my challenge (maybe even one of my fellow contributors; I honestly don’t know where any of them stand on the issue).

    Comment by Stephen Littau — May 13, 2009 @ 10:15 am
  6. I can also assure you that I am not “pro-murder, pro-criminal, or pro-nanny state.” I’m certainly pro-freedom and pro-gun, though I don’t see how being anti-death penalty precludes me from being these things.

    “Pro-Masculine Values”? What the hell does that mean? If it means that its masculine to execute a mentally retarded person then I guess I’m anti-masculine values.

    Comment by Stephen Littau — May 13, 2009 @ 10:21 am
  7. I’ve come to understand some things about our criminal justice system over the past few years. There are those in the judicial system, such as prosecuting attorneys, that may not be holding true to the canons of ethics nor their obligations to be fair and impartial. If there is exculpatory evidence that will clear a suspect, this evidence must be given in disclosure to the defense. I’ve found that there have been many cases where evidence has been suppressed or deliberately withheld from defense counsel. The most public of these cases was the Duke University students who were cleared by DNA evidence. Yet Mike Nifong continued to pursue the case regardless of the evidence before him. As a result Mike Nifong was removed from his office, disbarred and still may face possible charges. Its issues such as these and instances where other prosecutors have followed the same path, were negligent in their duties, or seeking some form of publicity for the advancement of their careers and higher office at the expense of the innocent. At this point I can’t say that I’m for or against the death penalty but, I have grave reservations about the system where things such as these occur.

    Comment by Robert DuBois — May 13, 2009 @ 3:55 pm
  8. Robert:

    Not all that long ago I was on the fence about the death penalty and before I was on the fence I supported the death penalty. After several years of arriving at many of the same conclusions you have, I have concluded that neither our government nor criminal justice system is not competent enough to make the decision to kill. The last time I checked, The Innocence Project had exonerated some 14 individuals who were once on death row. If Dondero and others like him had their way, these 14 individuals would have been killed by the state rather than “waste so much time” on appeals over several years.

    Comment by Stephen Littau — May 14, 2009 @ 10:29 am

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