Gary Lee Davis: Colorado's last volunteer for the death penalty
During that time, another member of Colorado's death row died of natural causes, cheating the executioner. And Nathan Dunlap arrived on death row for killing four people in a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in Aurora in 1993.
Nearly twenty years later, Dunlap is still there. His appeals are just about exhausted. Not so the other condemned men in Colorado's prison system, Sir Mario Owens and Robert Ray; the allegations of inadequate counsel, prosecution misconduct and other ethical quandaries surrounding their trials ought to give the courts a workout for years to come.
Sir Mario Owens.
In short, it's hard to get the death penalty in Colorado -- and even harder to get a willing volunteer. Families hoping to see the death penalty imposed on the Aurora theater shooter may have to get used to the idea of seeing justice delayed not just years, but decades.
More from our Prison Life archive: "Eddie Ives's botched execution and replacing the noose with the gas chamber."