The federal Justice Department is investigating Denver for failing to provide sign-language interpreters for deaf prisoners. Investigators are seeking to determine whether Denver – which touts itself as “one of America’s most accessible cities” — is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Crime and Punishment
Colorado’s death penalty is not only massively expensive, critics say it is also unconstitutional because it is so randomly sought.
The United States Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear the appeal of death-row prisoner Nathan Dunlap, the Colorado man convicted of the 1993 murder of four employees at an Aurora Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurant. Dunlap’s fate is now in the hands of Governor John Hickenlooper.
The Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) passed a resolution last week that calls for an end to federal and state HIV-specific criminal laws and prosecutions.
With a bill to repeal the death penalty likely to be introduced in the 2013 Colorado Legislature, there are bound to be philosophical arguments about the merits of capital punishment. One thing that seems beyond debate, though, is that ending the death penalty could save Colorado taxpayers a lot of money.
You might think the issue of marijuana legalization had been settled, at least as far as Coloradans were concerned. Turns out some people aren’t so sure, and one of them is former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy.
State Rep. Claire Levy this week told The Colorado Independent she is writing a bill to eliminate the death penalty in Colorado. Levy, D-Boulder, said she will introduce the bill if she is satisfied it will have a strong chance of passing.
A member of the first federal commission to look at the HIV epidemic says it is “probably past time” for states to revisit their HIV-specific criminal laws.
“I think it would be time to go back,” said Dr. Colleen Conway-Welch, a member of the commission created by President Reagan to investigate the disease. “In fact, it’s probably past time to go back and subject those laws to scientific scrutiny.”
Washington and Oregon both have measures similar to Colorado’s Amendment 64 on the ballot this year. It is unknown how the federal government will respond if any or all of them pass. The feds could respect the decision of voters, they could try to block implementation of some parts of the law, or they could shut down dispensaries and arrest people involved in the wholesale and retail ends of the business.
There is no question that keeping marijuana illegal comes at a price. There are no easy answers when it comes to how high that price is, though.