Death For Death Penalty Bill

A bill that would have shifted funding from capital punishment prosecutions to pay for a cold-case unit at the Colorado Bureau of Investigation was killed today in the House.

The Rocky Mountain News has more below the fold.From the article:

On a 35-30 vote, lawmakers finished off House Bill 1094, which would have cut in half the state attorney general’s four-member death-penalty prosecution team to free up $180,000 to fund a proposed cold-case unit to crack Colorado’s 1,200 unsolved murders.

Republicans defeated the bill with 10 votes from Democrats, including House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver.

Sponsor Rep. Paul Weissmann, D-Louisville, argued that Coloradans’ public safety is poorly served by spending $4.5 million annually on capital punishment prosecutions and appeals when the state has only executed one person in 40 years.

Also: Confidential colleague Cara DeGette was at the capitol today and spoke to Rep. Weissmann, who has introduced bills to abolish the death penalty in previous sessions. Although the lawmaker was disappointed with how things happened today, he is looking at his options for next session.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at