NEWS (4/13/20) — Colorado: Prosecutors in Colorado Springs have dropped the death penalty in their murder case against Marco Garcia-Bravo in the shooting death of two high school students, the last remaining capital prosecution in Colorado since the state abolished the death penalty on March 23. Parroting language used by Adams County prosecutors when they dropped the death penalty against Dreion Dearing on March 30 in the state’s other pending capital prosecution, 4th Judicial District Attorney Dan May blamed Governor Jared Polis for May’s decision, calling Polis a ”13th juror” who would block any death sentence ”with the stroke of the pen.”

On the same day that he signed the bill repealing Colorado’s death penalty, Polis also commuted the sentences of the three men on the state’s death row “to reflect what is now Colorado law.” The commutations, Polis said, “are consistent with the abolition of the death penalty in the State of Colorado, and consistent with the recognition that the death penalty cannot be, and never has been, administered equitably in the State of Colorado.”

Veteran Denver capital defense lawyer Phil Cherner said, “Tonight, for the first time that I can remember, Colorado has no one on death row, no death cases on appeal and none pending trial.” Despite capital prosecutions in several high-profile Colorado mass murder cases, no jury in the state has voted to impose the death penalty since June 2009.


Lance Benzel, Death penal­ty bid dropped in gang killings of Colorado Springs teens, Colorado Springs Gazette, April 132020.