Dem governor threatens to commute sentence of killer of 4 if he’s not re-elected


by Howard Portnoy

“That’s a nice little state you go there, Coloradans. It would be a shame if something happened to it.”

That variation of a line used by Hollywood’s rendition of mob shakedown artists captures the essence of a bizarre statement made earlier this month by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. Hickenlooper, a Democrat, is fighting for his political life against Republican challenger Bob Beauprez, a Congressman. According to the latest Quinnipiac University poll the two are virtually deadlocked, with Hickenlooper a statistically insignificant 1-point lead.

It is not uncommon for the press to ask an incumbent office holder what his plans are in the event he lose re-election. When asked what he might do, Hickenlooper indicated that one item on his putative to-do list would be to grant clemency to Nathan Dunlap. Dunlap was convicted in 1993 for the shooting deaths of four people in a Chuck E. Cheese in the city of Aurora. Disgruntled over having been fired, he entered the busy restaurant and emptied his weapon, wounding a fifth customer.

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