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Colo governor delays execution of convicted killer

May 22, 2013

DENVER (AP) — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has indefinitely delayed the execution of convicted killer Nathan Dunlap, citing doubts about the death penalty.

Hickenlooper announced his decision Wednesday. He says he is granting Dunlap a reprieve, not clemency. Clemency would have changed Dunlap’s sentence to life without parole.

Under a reprieve, Dunlap could conceivably be executed one day. The reprieve will stay in force until Hickenlooper or another governor lifted it.

Hickenlooper says Colorado’s capital punishment system is flawed and the state doesn’t have the drugs in place to carry out an execution by lethal injection.

Dunlap was convicted in 1996 of killing four employees at a Denver-area Chuck E. Cheese restaurant. The jury sentenced him to die. His last guaranteed appeal was rejected this year.

His execution was scheduled for August.

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