In an interview with Mike Rosen on 850KOA yesterday Governor Hickenlooper took a lot of heat from callers over his cowardly decision to grant a temporary reprieve to cold-blooded killer Nathan Dunlap.

He also made clear in a number of statements that he doesn’t know jack about the death penalty, or makes it up as he goes along.

Hickenlooper claims to have done his homework. He studied it. As an unenlightened layman during the 2010 election, he was for the death penalty. As a scholar of the death penalty, he now knows better.

But Hick’s claims about death penalty expertise don’t hold water, or was it the scotch he was drinking when he granted amnesty to Nate Dunlap?

In a multi-part series we’ll examine those lies, exposing Hickenlooper’s flubs and fibs for all to see.

The first, and most egregious, is Hickenlooper saying that half of the families didn’t want Dunlap to receive the death penalty.

Roll the tape:


“The families of victims – about half of them did not want an execution. They felt for religious reasons or personal reasons, they didn’t think that was going to bring them closure or do better.”

Politifact Rating: Pants on Fire

Hickenlooper himself said three weeks ago that the majority of victims’ families wanted execution. As the Colorado Statesman‘s Peter Marcus reported:

But perhaps the most difficult factor for Hickenlooper to consider was the impact to the victims’ families: “Largely disappointment,” he described their reactions. 

The majority of the families really did feel that they would get closure from an execution,” Hickenlooper continued. “There were some that expressed gratitude, and even some form of relief. But the majority were disappointed.”

He said he spoke with families just prior to making the announcement. During the more than 20-minute call, families of victims could be heard shouting at Hickenlooper, according to the Denver Post.

Which is it, Governor? Did a majority of families want execution or did half not want it? That’s a pretty important fact.

UPDATE: District Attorney George Brauchler, whose jurisdiction the Dunlap murders were committed in, tells Colorado Peak Politics that Governor Hickenlooper is completely making up his facts:

“Of 23 immediate family members of Dunlap’s victims, only 4 are opposed to the death penalty. The Governor’s claim that “half” oppose it is entirely misleading. Then again, Governor Hickenlooper described Colorado–a state that favors the death penalty by a 3 to 1 margain–as “evenly divided” on the issue, so maybe fractions aren’t his strong suit.”