Hickenlooper delays execution of convicted killer

DENVER — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper says it’s unlikely he’ll ever allow the execution of convicted killer Nathan Dunlap.

Hickenlooper granted Dunlap an indefinite reprieve today, citing doubts about the fairness of Colorado’s death penalty. He also said he has concerns about the state’s ability to get the lethal drugs necessary for an execution.

Hickenlooper says he’s granting Dunlap a reprieve, not clemency. Clemency would have changed Dunlap’s sentence to life without parole.

Under a reprieve, Dunlap could conceivably be executed one day, but Hickenlooper says he won’t likely lift it.

Hickenlooper is in his first term and would be up for re-election next year.

Dunlap was convicted in 1996 of killing four employees at a Denver-area restaurant. The jury sentenced him to die. His last guaranteed appeal was rejected this year.


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