When Governor Hickenlooper announced his cowardly decision to grant a reprieve to cold-blooded mass murderer Nathan Dunlap yesterday the reaction across the state was swift and brutal. One group in particular, however, was slow to offer comment or reaction – elected Democrats.
Afraid to anger the de facto head of their party in Colorado, Democrats have offered little to no comment on the story dominating headlines and dinner table conversations.
There has been a striking silence on the part of a number of notable Democrats, such as Senate President John Morse, who helped kill a death penalty repeal effort in 2009, or Denver DA Mitch Morrissey who testified against repeal at the legislature this year.
As far as we can tell, Rep. Rhonda Fields is the only notable to offer comment, saying she was “saddened” by Hick’s clemency cop-out. Even then the comment came a day late in a written statement.
“I respect the governor’s decision-making authority to grant a reprieve,” Fields writes in her statement. “However, as a victim of a horrible crime and on behalf of other victims and their families, I am saddened by the governor’s decision yesterday.”
The Aurora Democrat, of course, has a personal interest in the death penalty debate. Her son and his fiancee were killed by the other two members of Colorado’s death row. She remains supportive of the ultimate penalty.
Good on Plunkett for getting Fields on the record, but we have to ask: where are the rest of the Democrats on this earth shattering bit of news?