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Murder Victim’s Father Calls Hickenlooper A Coward

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DENVER (CBS4) - The father of a murder victim says Gov. John Hickenlooper is a coward because the governor said it’s possible he could grant clemency to mass murderer Nathan Dunlap.

“I think that’s the coward’s way out, and I view John Hickenlooper as a coward,” said Bob Crowell, whose daughter Sylvia, 19, was among those killed in the Dec. 14, 1993, slaying of four employees at an Aurora Chuck E. Cheese restaurant.

Sylvia Crowell (credit: CBS)

Sylvia Crowell (credit: CBS)

Hickenlooper indefinitely delayed Dunlap’s execution in May.

According to audio that will air in September as part of a CNN death penalty series, the governor said if he loses the election, he could grant clemency to Dunlap, 38.

The governor said, in part:

“The issue that a political campaign would make a human life into, you know, a political football is unacceptable, right? I think it would backfire tremendously on any candidate that did that. And I think if they did do that, and somehow they won there are obviously remedies that the governor can do. You know, I could give it a full clemency between Election Day and the end of the year.”

Crowell chastised the governor for saying his opponents are playing “political football” with the issue.

“Look who’s doing it: Hickenlooper,” he said, calling the governor’s stance “dirty pool.”

Bob Beauprez, the governor’s Republican opponent, said he will order Dunlap’s execution if he’s elected.

Hickenlooper’s office issued a statement Tuesday that said he considers the issue closed:

“I have no plans to revisit to my decision, no matter what happens in the election. While I am opposed to the death penalty and do not believe the state should be taking lives, I respect that others may feel differently.”

Dunlap was sentenced to death in 1996. He also killed Colleen O’Connor, 17, Benjamin Grant, 17, and Marge Kohlberg, 50.

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