Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cold Case Funding Bill Again Includes Death Penalty Ban

A conference committee restored this morning to a bill funding investigations of "cold cases" a provision repealing Colorado's death penalty.

The senate had removed the death penalty repeal during debate on HB 1274 earlier in the week, adopting a bipartisan amendment offered by Sens. John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, and Josh Penry, R-Fruita, that would directly appropriate funds for such investigations from a new $2.50 fine applicable to all criminal convictions and traffic infraction verdicts.

The conference committee, which included members of the House of Representatives who had supported the death penalty repeal, returned to the proposal to fund cold case investigations by using money that would otherwise go toward capital punishment.

Both chambers of the General Assembly will consider the conference committee report today before adjourning the session.

Gov. Bill Ritter, a former prosecutor, has not publicly said whether he would sign a bill repealing the state's death penalty.