Mary BlegenMary BlegenFebruary 8, 20185min609

In the wake of the tragic shooting in Douglas County on Dec. 31, we have learned that law enforcement officials had considered taking action to reduce the possibility of this sort of event some time before it happened, but there had been no actual criminal behavior on which to act.  If Colorado had the appropriate laws, there is an approach that could have been taken — Extreme Risk Protection Orders. These statutes temporarily prohibit the purchase or possession of firearms by persons at increased risk of dangerous behavior.  This tool uses civil law to enable law enforcement and families to intervene when individuals are behaving dangerously.  Five states now have these laws in place — Connecticut, Indiana, California, Washington and, most recently, Oregon.

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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirMay 9, 20173min386

A politician accusing another politician of being political is about as original as a DA brandishing his tough-on-crime street cred in a bid for higher office. Yet, put it all together this early in Colorado’s 2018 gubernatorial race, and you still have something noteworthy, maybe even newsworthy. At least, for political junkies.

In a post this week on ColoradoPols, media sentinel Jason Salzman picks up on GOP gubernatorial hopeful Victor Mitchell’s recent remarks dumping on rival GOP contender George Brauchler for his use of the death penalty “for political purposes.” (The context was an interview last Saturday on Colorado Springs conservative talk radio’s “Jeff Crank Show” on KVOR 740-AM.)

Brauchler is the Arapahoe County D.A. who prosecuted Aurora theater shooter and mass murderer James Holmes; sought the death penalty against him, and had to settle for life in prison after the jury wouldn’t go along with death. Mitchell is a Douglas County entrepreneur and former state reprsentative.

Mitchell told host Jeff Crank:

“One of my opponents has been using the death penalty, you know, from all indications — it certainly appears — for political purposes. … And that’s really unfortunate. This is a life or death issue.”

“It was impossible that [Brauchler] was going to get a verdict of a death penalty. …So, there’s $4 million wasted.  [He] is going around the state calling for a death penalty case; some of the victims’ families didn’t want that. But more importantly, it was just about an impossible situation to obtain a death penalty verdict in a guy that was so mentally ill.”

Read Salzman’s full post; it also points you to the radio segment with the interview.




John TomasicJohn TomasicFebruary 23, 201716min438

Senate Minority Leader Lucia Guzman’s death penalty repeal bill was voted down by Republicans in committee last Wednesday, just as she expected. Speaking before the hearing, Guzman said she hoped mainly that the bill would foster heartfelt conversation on the issue. “It was not to be,” she said. She thinks she might have pulled off the repeal if Democrats in November had won a majority in the state Senate, but Republicans maintained the majority by one vote. She shrugged. “Maybe it’s the conversation that’s important, going through all these steps together. I think that’s a good legacy.” Guzman, a Denver Democrat, arrived at the Senate as an appointee in 2010, filling the District 34 seat vacated by Paula Sandoval. Guzman is term limited and has only one more session to serve at the Capitol. She is also a minister with a degree from the Iliff School of Theology in Denver — and that’s the part of her background that seems closest to surface when she talks about capital punishment.