Colorado death penalty repeal proposal fails due to uncertainty about Hickenlooper's support

Hickenlooper expressed doubts about the proposal

DENVER - A proposal to repeal the death penalty in Colorado failed Tuesday due to uncertainty about Gov. John Hickenlooper’s support of the Democratic bill.

A Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee expressed concern Tuesday about the doubts that Hickenlooper has conveyed about the proposal. Lawmakers voted 4-6 and House Bill 1264 failed to advance.

The committee delayed the vote last week after a marathon hearing that attracted big crowds.

Supporters of the death penalty say it's a just punishment for the most serious crimes. Rep. Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora), whose son was shot and killed and who supports the death penalty, says voters would keep the death penalty if given the choice.

Democrats argued that the death penalty is applied unfairly. But the Democrats' plan to abolish capital punishment was thrown into question last week when they learned that the Democratic governor may not be on board.

Three men await execution in Colorado, but the bill would not have affected them.