The death penalty is finally abolished in the State of Colorado, after 6 historical attempts to do so. Governor Jared Polis has signed a bill on March 23, repealing capital punishment and making Colorado the 22nd state of America to do so. The Colorado House approved the measure on February 26, 2020, on a 38 to 27 roll call vote.
The very same day Polis granted commutations to 3 local death row inmates: Nathan Dunlap (41), Sir Mario Owens (30) and Robert Ray (29). All men will serve life sentences without the possibility of parole instead. In total, the Governor granted clemency to 11 incarcerated adults in Colorado: 5 pardons and 5 commutations.
Jared Polis declared the bill officially adopted through a press release. He refrained from the public ceremony because of social distancing.
Capital punishment has certainly become less popular among the juries of Colorado over the years. The last execution in the state took place in 1997. Gary Lee Davis, convicted for brutal rape and murder of Virginia May, received a lethal injection. He was also the first person to be executed in Colorado after the death penalty reinstatement in 1977.