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HR 13-1264: Repeal of the Death Penalty

HR 13-1264: Repeal of the Death Penalty

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The death penalty is currently available in Colorado for defendants convicted of a class 1 felony. This billwould repeal the death penalty for offenses committed on or after July 1, 2013.
The death penalty is currently available in Colorado for defendants convicted of a class 1 felony. This billwould repeal the death penalty for offenses committed on or after July 1, 2013.

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Published by: Senator Mike Johnston on Mar 27, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/06/2013

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DRAFT 3/27/2013 1:57 AM For a complete list of fact sheets, visitwww.mikejohnston.org/in-the-legislature.
Office of Sen. Mike Johnston
Colorado General Assembly | 200 E. Colfax Avenue | Denver, CO 80203 | 303.866.4864
F
ACT
S
HEET
M
EMORANDUM
 
HR 13-1264
Repeal of the Death PenaltyReps. Levy, Melton, Priola & Sens. Guzman, Carroll
Staff Name
: Amanda Levin
What the Bill Does
:The death penalty is currently available in Colorado for defendants convicted of a class 1 felony. This billwould repeal the death penalty for offenses committed on or after July 1, 2013.
Colorado Context
:Between 1999-2010, there were 557 first-degree murder cases.
1
The death penalty was an option inapproximately 92 percent of first-degree murders, but only sought by prosecutors in three percent of cases,pursued through sentencing in only one percent of cases, and imposed in just. 0.6 percent of cases.
2
 Colorado last executed a prisoner in 1997.
3
 The state currently has three people on death row, none of whom will be affected by the law.
4
 The death penalty system is far more expensive than an alternative system in which the maximum sentenceis life in prison.
5
For a single death penalty trial, the state may pay $1million more than for a non-deathpenalty trial.
6
Given the fact that so few death penalty trials result in the death penalty sentence, the costof each death sentence is actually far higher. Most states have not even tried to calculate the costs, but thefew that have illustrate the high cost: in California, a study from 2008 found that the state was spending$137million per year on the death penalty, and estimated that a comparable system that sentenced thesame inmates to a life in prison without parole would cost only $11.5 per year;
7
in New York, the state hasspent about $170milion over nine years on the death penalty and had no executions, leading it to abolishthe death penalty sentence.
8
 
1
Justin Marceau & Sam Kamin,
Colorado Capital Punishment: An Empirical Study,
University of Denver Sturm Collegeof Law, Working Paper NO. 13-08, Jan. 13, 2013, at 31,https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2210040#%23. 
2
Death Penalty Information Center,
Studies: Colorado’s Dealth Penalty Applied Arbitrarily 
3
The Pueblo Chieftain,
Three inmates jailed on death row; Colorado has not executed a prisoner since 1997,
4
 
Id.
 
5
Death Penalty Information Center,
Smart on Crime: Reconsidering the Death Penalty in a Time of Economic Crisis
6
 
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