Lawsuit Filed Over Colorado Death Penalty Appeals

The state public defender's office has filed a federal lawsuit over an attempt by Colorado to streamline death penalty appeals.

Under the current system adopted in the late-1990s, conviction and post-conviction reviews are handled in a single appeal and can take less than two years to resolve. Previously, the reviews were handled separately and could take many years.

According to the Denver Post, the state legislature adopted the unified process in 1997 in an effort to speed up death-penalty appeals.

Colorado's Death Row

There are three people on death row in Colorado.

Sir Mario Owens was convicted of first-degree murder in the 2004 slaying of Gregory Vann at Lowry Park in Aurora.

A second victim in that shooting, Javad Marshall Fields, was shot and killed along with his fiancee, Vivian Wolfe, in 2005, days before he was to testify against Owens.

Robert Ray is on death row for his role as the mastermind in the shooting deaths of Marshall Fields and Wolfe.

The third person is Nathan Dunlap, who was convicted of killing multiple people at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in Aurora.

Read more in the Denver Post, Link

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