Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Colorado 22nd US state to ditch death penalty

Colorado 22nd US state to ditch death penalty

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Colorado governor Jared Polis on Monday signed a bill to repeal the death penalty and commuted the sentences of three men on death row to life in prison without the possibility of parole. afp

Colorado 22nd US state to ditch death penalty

COLORADO has abolished the death penalty, becoming the 22nd US state to repeal the punishment.

Governor Jared Polis on Monday signed a bill to repeal the death penalty and commuted the sentences of three men on death row to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Polis said the commutations “of these despicable and guilty individuals are consistent with the abolition of the death penalty in the State of Colorado, and consistent with the recognition that the death penalty cannot be, and never has been, administered equitably in the State of Colorado”.

Colorado has only carried out one execution since the death penalty was reinstated by the US Supreme Court in 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

Gary Lee Davis was put to death in 1997 by lethal injection for the 1986 rape and murder of a neighbor.

Colorado lawmakers in February approved the bill to repeal the death penalty, overcoming fierce opposition from Republicans who tried to stall the vote, including by reading from the Bible.

“While I understand that some victims agree with my decision and others disagree, I hope this decision provides clarity and certainty for them moving forward,” Polis said in a statement.

“The decision to commute these sentences was made to reflect what is now Colorado law, and done after a thorough outreach process to the victims and their families.”

Colorado District Attorney George Brauchler was among those criticising the abolition.

“There are a few in Colorado today who will cheer the sparing of the lives of these cold-blooded murderers,” he said in a statement.

The American Civil Liberties Union and other death penalty abolitionists welcomed the move.

“In all the madness we are living under, here is some terrific news. Colorado has now officially abolished the death penalty,” ACLU justice division director Udi Ofer said on Twitter.

“While we still need to get death row cleared, CO [Colorado] will no longer kill people as punishment,” Ofer said.

“Alleluia! I’m celebrating the citizen activists of Colorado who ... steadily changed hearts and minds to arrive at this life-affirming day,” anti-death penalty activist Sister Helen Prejean tweeted.

States around the US have been re-examining their use of the death penalty.

New Hampshire abolished it completely in 2019 and California’s governor last year declared a moratorium on executions as long as he is in office. AFP


  • Tourists urged not to skip trip

    The Ministry of Tourism has called on international tourists not to cancel trips to Cambodia, but urged them to adhere to several dos and don’ts when arriving in the Kingdom during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry released an eight-point instruction manual on Wednesday published

  • The taxman cometh – Cambodia’s capital gains tax casts the net on individual taxpayers

    In a country where only limited personal income tax existed, the new taxation law beginning January 1, 2021, will make taxpayers out of Cambodians, whether they are ready for it or not About two years ago, a little known amendment was made to Article 7 of the Law

  • Cambodian-American gets Star Trek treatment

    Kevin Ung, a Cambodian-American whose family escaped genocide during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, was recently selected from thousands of applicants to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s inaugural 2020 Star Trek Command Training Programme, a course intended to give hands-on filmmaking experience

  • Cambodia seeks to be transport hub

    Cambodia is working on several fronts to modernise its transport infrastructure and services, concentrating on opening new international gates to relieve and balance traffic congestion at its borders, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Thursday. This is part of the Kingdom’

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • Singapore Fintech start-up enters Sihanoukville

    Singapore-based fintech start-up Fincy on Wednesday announced the expansion of its cashless payment system to Sihanoukville to tap into the southwestern coastal city’s ever-widening business and investment landscape. The move is in line with the National Bank of Cambodia’s (NBC’s) recommendations to