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News Scan

Governor Blocks Execution:  Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper announced Wednesday that he will not allow the execution of condemned murderer Nathan Dunlap so long as he is in office, as reported in this ABC news story.  In 1993, Dunlap murdered four people in an ambush at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in Aurora.  He was convicted and sentenced to death for in 1996.  The announcement drew immediate criticism from the families of the victims, who have been waiting twenty years for justice.  Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler told reporters that Hickenlooper has "made himself Nathan Dunlap's guardian angel."  The Governor will be up for reelection next year. 

Researcher Calls Realignment an Experiment:  AP reporter Don Thompson writes about the growing criticism of California Governor Jerry Browns Realignment law.  Preliminary reports by the FBI on 2012 crime rates indicate that violent crime increased in 40 of the state's 69 largest cities, the largest such increase in 20 years.  While most criticism of the law has come from Republican legislators and victims' groups, some Democrats have indicated that they are open to reforms.  One expert who has been studying the shift of thousands of felons from state prison to counties, Stanford University law professor Joan Petersilia, said the policy is serving as a national experiment about whether prison populations can be reduced significantly without posing a threat to public safety. 

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