Colorado lawmakers debate death penalty, but no vote taken

DENVER - The debate over repealing Colorado's death penalty is on hold, for now.

House Bill 1264 would repeal capital punishment in Colorado for offenses committed after July 1.

This week, two legislative committees debated the issue, but didn't vote.

A Colorado lawmaker whose son was shot and killed supports the death penalty. Rep. Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora) says voters would keep the death penalty if given the choice.

She has created a different bill. House Bill 1270 would allow voters to decide if the death penalty should stay or go.

Fields son, Javad Marshall-Fields, and his fiance, Vivian Wolfe, both 22, died in a hail of gunfire as they drove through an Aurora intersection on June 20, 2005.

There are three men on Colorado's death row. Two of them were convicted of killing Fields' son and Wolfe. The third man is Nathan Dunlap, he shot and killed four people at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in 1993.

Death-penalty opponents say it's handed down unfairly and doesn't deter crime. Supporters say some crimes merit the harshest punishment.