Huffpost Denver

Nathan Dunlap Execution Date Week Of August 18 For Aurora Chuck E. Cheese Killings

Posted: Updated:

A judge on Wednesday set the execution date for Nathan Dunlap, a Colorado man on death row for killing four people in 1993 at an Aurora Chuck E. Cheese.

Arapahoe County Judge William Sylvester set Dunlap's execution for the week of Aug. 18-24, 2013. Sylvester declined to set an exact date, leaving that up to the state's Department of Corrections.

With the execution date only three months away, Dunlap is set to become the first prisoner to be executed in Colorado in 16 years, since the execution of Gary Davis in 1997.

At this point, Dunlap's attorneys have said that their next plan of action will be to appeal to Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper for clemency.

"We will not stop trying to save Mr. Dunlap's life," Attorney Philip Cherner told The Denver Post.

Dunlap's attorneys are also challenging the constitutionality of the death penalty, arguing that it's cruel and unusual punishment to make inmates wait on death row for decades for a possible execution date. The judge set a June 10 hearing to hear Dunlap's attorneys' arguments.

Last February, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Dunlap's appeal, and Democratic lawmakers tried this year to introduce legislation abolishing the death penalty. The bill however died in committee reportedly because of uncertainty about Hickenlooper's support.

Though even if the bill had passed, lawmakers said it wouldn't have been retroactive -- and even though Hickenlooper was reportedly conflicted about signing repeal of Colorado's death penalty, that does not necessarily mean that he's for it either.

The governor gave an illustrative interview with KDVR last week in which he called the decision whether to commute Dunlap's sentence "the toughest thing I've had to deal with."

According to 9News, Hickenlooper plans to meet with victims' families in the coming days regarding Dunlap.

Dunlap is one of three men on Colorado's death row -- all of whom were convicted in Arapahoe County -- and Arapahoe County prosecutors have said that they are seeking the death penalty for suspected Aurora shooter James Holmes as well.

Around the Web

Chuck E. Cheese killer Nathan Dunlap to learn his execution date ...

Judge to decide Nathan Dunlap's execution date in May - The ...

Chuck E. Cheese killer Dunlap loses appeal of death sentence - The ...

U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear death-penalty appeal of Aurora ...

7NEWS - Nathan Dunlap moves closer to execution - Local Story

Hickenlooper 'gathering information' as Dunlap execution ticks closer