State Senator Greg Brophy took to the Senate floor recently to remember the victims of convicted mass murderer Nathan Dunlap and to urge Governor Hickenlooper to ignore his staff’s advice and let the execution go forward.

After the jump is a rough outline of what Senator Brophy said:

Colleen O’Connor, Benjamin Grant, Sylvia Crowell, and Marge Kohlberg were all murdered on Dec 14, 1993.

Colleen Rose O’Conner was remembered by her aunt Mary McNally as a “bright, burning, exciting kind of person.” 

“I just talked to her the day before,” said a stunned Jason Garvin, one of her classmates at Eaglecrest High School, where she was a senior. “I liked her. She was outspoken and friendly. She was anxious to get through school and go to college to make her mom proud of her.”

Silvia Kathlene Crowell was a 19 year old Gateway High School graduate, a devout Mormon, a church choir member and president of the church youth group. 

“Sylvia was like a magnet,” said Laura Pierce, whose father was Crowell’s bishop. In high school, “friends would come and cut into Sylvia’s studying and sleeping time. She would then stay up and study and read her scriptures and get to bed very late, even when she had seminary”.

Seventeen year old Smokey Hill High School junior Benjamin Grant was so full of life, and everybody knew it. A caring son and brother, loving boyfriend, determined wrestler, devout friend and sometimes ornery student – that’s the kid family and friends remember. 

His 14 year old sister Tiffany said, “Not only was he my big brother, he was my best friend in the whole wide world, It’s going to be hard without him. … Seeing that empty space in his room isn’t going to be easy.”

Fifty year old Margaret Kohlberg was the night manager at Chuck E Cheese. 

Mel Kohlberg, her husband, told friends and neighbors that his 17 years of marriage to Marge were “worth every second of it.” He even joked about the couple falling in love “instantly.”

“OK, it took two weeks,” he said. Kohlberg said he was overwhelmed by the number of people from “all areas of our lives” who showed up to offer their support.

***stories taken from Denver Post article original Dec 1993

After reading all of the stories about the pending execution of their murderer, I think it is important that we pause to remember the victims and their families. 

We know that the Governor has said he is struggling with the decision to go ahead with the August execution of the murderer. He’s meeting with the prosecutors, defendants and interested parties.

We’ve read that the folks surrounding the Governor favor clemency. We know that the people of Colorado feel differently. 

Governor, don’t follow your staff, side with the people of Colorado. Do the right thing and settle the issue quickly.