Would Hickenlooper let James Holmes live?

Even when Gov. John Hickenlooper has new convictions, he doesn’t have the courage or leadership to act on those convictions.  Our Waffler-in-Chief strikes again as KDVR’s Eli Stokols asked Hick if he was now anti-death penalty.  In typical Hickenlooper fashion, we can add this to the long list of times where Hick states he was unaware of all the facts on an issue before taking a stance on it:

“My whole life I was anti-death penalty… but then you get all this information… I didn’t know all this stuff.”

It’d be nice if every once and awhile we had a Governor who actually did his due diligence on a subject before stating an opinion.  “Sorry teacher, I got that question wrong because I wasn’t aware of all these new facts I should have learned before the test.”  It’s not like these “new” facts are all that new.  Anyone who has even a cursory knowledge of the death penalty debate knows that it costs more to execute someone (because of the lengthy appeal process) than to put them in prison for the rest of their life; that the death penalty hasn’t been proven to be a deterrent.  Yet, the really odd thing is, despite Hickenlooper now having a conversion to the anti-death penalty side, he still lacks the backbone to fully pardon Nathan Dunlap.

If Hickenlooper truly believes the death penalty is wrong, why will he not fully pardon Dunlap?  Is this just a cynical political move where he has all intention of pardoning Dunlap should he win or lose come November, but doesn’t want to be upfront with the Colorado voters that he is pardoning a man who executed four of his fellow co-workers, three who had not even turned 20 yet?

It’s not like Colorado uses the death penalty with reckless abandoned.  Dunlap would be only the second person executed in Colorado since the death penalty was reinstated in 1977, and the first since 1997.  Coloradans do not take the death penalty lightly, but sometimes there are certain crimes so beyond what we can stand as a society that the person who committed it should not be allowed to be part of our society in any shape or form ever again.  Certainly the jury who passed down the sentence weighed these so-called “new” facts of Hickenlooper’s along with the rest of the trial and decided this was the best course.  While the Supreme Court of Colorado has upheld his conviction three separate times.  Should Hickenlooper trump all of their voices when he seems to lack having a firm grasp on the entirety of the crime?

Hickenlooper is so committed to his new position he appears to be only a few words from stating the death penalty should be outlawed across the entire United States:

“There might be legitimate reasons why the U.S….” …should outlaw the death penalty.

We finished Hickenlooper’s thoughts for him there, but that was clearly where he was heading.  Mark this as the rare occasion where Hickenlooper doesn’t commit a political gaffe.  At the same time, this has to make Coloradans everywhere wonder: if Hick had the power to pardon mass-murderer, theater-shooter James Holmes, would he?

Here’s the video: