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

7:56 AM, May 1, 2013   |    comments
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DENVER - Condemned killer Nathan Dunlap will learn on Wednesday when he may be executed.

Chief Judge William Sylvester is expected to set a week for execution. The Department Of Corrections will pick a date during that week.

The week can't be sooner than 90 days away, which would mean August of 2013. Dunlap has been on death row for nearly 20 years.

On April 25, the Colorado Court of Appeals rejected Dunlap's attorneys' argument that the state developed the lethal injection execution procedure without public input. The court sided with the state that argued the lethal injection execution procedure falls under the duties of the prisons director and don't require public input.

On Wednesday, Dunlap's defense attorney Phil Cherner says they still have issues they have not been able to litigate and plan to ask the court to not set an execution week. 

"The system is broken in the way that it attempts to execute people," Cherner said. "The death penalty is wrong in the abstract, but it's even more wrong if that's possible in the way Colorado administers it. It's wrong because we have one county that seems to pursue it when most don't. We have three individuals on death row that are all black, when only 5 percent of Colorado population is black. They're all under 21 when the crime was committed."

Cherner is unsure why the state wants to make an example out of Dunlap.

"Why should Mr. Dunlap be really the only one the first in 15 years and the second since 1967 to get the death penalty?" Cherner asked. "He's remorseful. He offered to plead guilty before trial and do four consecutive life sentences and submit to interview by the victim's family, answer any questions they had [and] the government turned it down. The government has wasted all this time, and all this money. It could've been over 20 years ago. It's their fault that it's taking so long."

Dunlap was convicted and sentenced to die for the slaying of four people during a 1993 robbery of a Chuck E. Cheese's restaurant in Aurora. He wounded another employee.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Dunlap's appeal in February.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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