GOP state senator pressures Hickenlooper to carry out Dunlap execution

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Lawmakers stand Monday as Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, pays tribute to the four murder victims of Nathan Dunlap, who is scheduled to be executed the week of Aug. 18.

DENVER — Sen. Greg Brophy, a Wray Republican rumored to be considering a run for governor next year, made a point of pressuring Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper to carry out the execution of Nathan Dunlap on Monday.

Last Wednesday, a district judge ordered the Dept. of Corrections to set an execution date during the week of August 18 for Dunlap, who murdered four people inside an Aurora Chuck E. Cheese in 1994.

Hickenlooper spent Friday and Saturday meeting with relatives of Dunlap’s victims, prosecutors and Dunlap’s legal team, which has made a formal request for clemency to the governor.

On Monday, Brophy asked for a moment of personal privilege on the Senate floor — and spoke about all four victims before asking the governor not to intervene to postpone or prevent the looming execution.

“We know that the Governor has said he is struggling with the decision to go ahead with the August execution of the murderer,” Brophy said. “He’s meeting with the prosecutors, defendants and interested parties.

“We’ve read that the folks surrounding the Governor favor clemency. We know that the people of Colorado feel differently.

“We’re just hoping that the governor does the right thing here and follows through with the justice that’s deserved,” Brophy said.

Hickenlooper expressed his ambivalence last week during an exclusive interview with FOX31 Denver.

“I think it’s the toughest thing I’ve had to deal with,” he said.

FOX31 Denver also reported that Hickenlooper’s Chief of Staff Roxane White and General Counsel Jack Finlaw, the two cabinet members leading the administration’s work on the Dunlap case, personally oppose the death penalty.

On Monday, as the execution date was being set, White made her feelings publicly known, tweeting from outside the courtroom: “There has to be a more humane solution.”

With pressure starting to mount early, the governor’s staff is pushing him to make a decision sooner rather than later, knowing that the pressure will only intensify as the execution date nears.