DENVER (CBS4) – They occupied Colorado’s death row. Nathan Dunlap killed four people at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in 1993, Sir Mario Owens and Robert Ray murdered trial witness Javad Marshall-Fields and his fiancee Vivian Wolfe.

Robert Ray (left) is convicted of issuing the orders that led to the killings of witnesses Javad Marshall Fields and his fiance Vivian Wolfe. Sir Mario Owens (center) is on death row for carrying out those killings. And Nathan Dunlap (right) is convicted of killing four at a Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurant in 1993. He’s been in reviews and appeals for more than 15 years. (credit: CBS)

Rhonda Fields, Javad’s mother is beyond upset with Gov. Jared Polis commuting the inmates’ sentences from death to life without parole.

“What he has done has washed away the verdicts that people invested so much time.”

State Sen. Fields and her daughter, Maisha, expressed no less than disgust that their loved one’s killers will now not be put to death. So did Vivian’s Wolfe’s mother, Christine.

(credit: CBS)

“You know how miserable my life was? You don’t understand.”

In a hail of bullets the couple died in 2005 in Aurora.

Christine Wolfe, told CBS4, “We wanted death penalty so I could have peace of mind. And those, they are not human beings.”

In each case, victims’ families sat through the trials in which the sentences were death. But the Colorado state government abolished the death penalty for future cases. Then, Gov. Jared Polis replaced death row with “life row.”

(credit: CBS)

“We are mourning today because justice has been hijacked,” said Maisha.

The governors’ executive order commuting the death row sentences stated:

“I hope that the victims will find some peace and will finally be freed from the public attention that has forced them to relive this personal tragedy over and over.”

To that Sen. Fields replied, “That’s hogwash, you know closure is when my son was murdered.”

Rick Sallinger