Colorado Gov. Ties Election Loss to Killer’s Clemency

     DENVER (CN) – In a yet-to-be aired television interview, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper claimed he could grant full clemency to the man convicted of killing four people in a Chuck E. Cheese should he lose the next gubernatorial election.
     In December 1993, Nathan Dunlap hid in a bathroom of a Chuck E. Cheese in Aurora, Colo. where he once worked and waited until after the business closed before emerging and shooting five people including four teenage employees and their 50-year-old manager. Only one employee survived the attack. Dunlap, who was 19 years old at the time, was sentenced to death.
     Even though Dunlap’s execution was scheduled for August of last year, Hickenlooper granted the convicted killer a temporary reprieve three months before.
     In a recording from a CNN interview, Hickenlooper was asked about Republican gubernatorial candidates running on a pro-death penalty platform sparked by the Dunlap case. The interviewer asked if a Republican candidate continued to make an issue of the death penalty and won, what would Hickenlooper do?
     “If they did do that, and somehow they won, there are obviously remedies that the governor could do. I could do a full clemency between Election Day and the end of the year. There are a number of different opportunities to make sure that doesn’t happen. Again, human life should not be a political football,” Hickenlooper said in the interview.
     In a Denver Post article, a spokesman for Hickenlooper’s campaign said on Monday that the governor’s position on the Dunlap case has not changed.
     The CNN recording was obtained by conservative blogger Todd Shepherd of The Complete Colorado through an open records request. It was first reported over the weekend by KNUS-710 on the Craig Silverman Show in Denver. The interview was for an episode of CNN’s “Death Row Series.”

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