Yesterday we reported that Governor John Hickenlooper would not meet with Colorado Sherrifs who opposed gun control when asked late last week. Hickenlooper’s staff protested and called it a scheduling snafu. Our sources confirm, it was a snub.

And a story from The Denver Post‘s John Ingold may shed light on why: Hickenlooper was busy entertaining the pleading of convicted mass murderer Nathan Dunlap’s lawyers.

Attorneys for Colorado death-row inmate Nathan Dunlap are working on a clemency petition in the hopes of persuading Gov. John Hickenlooper to spare the killer’s life.

Records show, however, that the petition will not be the first outreach by Dunlap’s attorneys to the governor’s office. E-mails provided to The Denver Post as part of an open-records request reveal that Dunlap’s attorneys have been in regular contact with members of Hickenlooper’s legal team.

While Hickenlooper may be too busy to meet those that actually protect the lives of kids — the Sheriffs – when it comes to saving the life of a murderer of children, Hickenlooper’s team seems to be all ears.

As Ingold reports, Hickenlooper appears to be considering commuting the Chuck E. Cheese killer’s sentence:

When Hickenlooper ran for office in 2010, he answered a Denver Post question about whether the death penalty should be repealed: “No, but it should be restricted.” Late last year, though, Hickenlooper was less decisive about the death penalty.

“I wrestle with this, right now, on a pretty much daily basis because we are in a position where we have a couple of death-row inmates that are going to come up, ” Hickenlooper told The Associated Press, “and I haven’t come to a conclusion.”

As The Colorado Observer reported in December the latest polling in Colorado on the death penalty issue is most decidedly not in favor of leniency for killers of kids:

DENVER – Democrats eager to repeal Colorado’s death penalty will have to do so at their own political risk, according to a new poll showing widespread support for capital punishment in the Centennial State.

The results of the survey back that conclusion, with a whopping 68 percent of poll respondents saying they oppose abolishing the death penalty in Colorado, compared to just 27 percent who said they favored an end to capital punishment.

When asked specifically whether accused Aurora movie theater shooter James Holmes should receive the death penalty, those polled said he should by margin of more than 2 to 1 (59 percent to 27 percent).

Support for the death penalty jumped to 69 percent when respondents were told that abolishing the death penalty could lead to overturning Nathan Dunlap’s convictions for the grisly 1996 murders of four Denver-area Chuck E. Cheese restaurant employees. [Peak emphasis]