March 6, 2019

Denver, CO – The Senate Judiciary Committee today voted 3-to-2 to pass SB19-182, Repeal the Death Penalty, a bill sponsored by Senators Julie Gonzales (D-Denver) and Angela Williams (D-Denver) that would repeal the death penalty in Colorado for offenses charged on or after July 1, 2019. The bill now moves to the Senate floor for consideration.

“The pain of loss is unbearable, no matter the circumstances. However, our criminal justice system demonstrates racial bias at every step of the process, and we have an opportunity to change that,” said Senator Gonzales, who also serves as the Vice-Chair of the Judiciary committee. “The truth is that the death penalty is a cruel and unusual form of punishment that is disproportionately used against people of color. It is an arbitrary punishment that is irrevocable and permanent, and I am proud that we are now one step closer to repealing the death penalty in Colorado.”

“The death penalty is an outdated, barbaric form of punishment that is unfortunately still part of our criminal justice system,” said Senator Williams. “It is costly, biased, and an ineffective deterrent of violent crime. Some opponents of the bill claim that the death penalty is a useful tool to extract pleas, but in reality it is used as a scare tactic to manipulate and extort those without the resources to defend themselves.I am glad the Judiciary Committee agrees it is time to repeal the death penalty, and I am confident we will be able to do so this session.”

SB-182 would abolish the death penalty in Colorado, but would not change the status of the individuals currently on death row. For more information, please visit https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb19-182.

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