CC: Let's talk about death

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Nathan Dunlap killed four people at an Aurora Chuck E. Cheese in 1993. He's on death row, but Gov. John Hickenlooper has given him a temporary reprieve.
  • Nathan Dunlap killed four people at an Aurora Chuck E. Cheese in 1993. He's on death row, but Gov. John Hickenlooper has given him a temporary reprieve.

If you want to get people riled up but you're sick of talking about abortion, the death penalty is always a good backup.

We just can't seem to agree whether the state of Colorado should be allowed to kill people. The questions are numerous: Are the drug cocktails common in executions "cruel and unusual"? Do we tend to execute people of color for the same crimes that white people serve prison time? Why does someone like James Holmes get life in prison, while others get the death penalty for lesser crimes? Is the death penalty a deterrent? Does it provide healing for the families of victims? Is it fair? And how many innocent people are we killing?

That last question is coming into full focus with Oklahoma prisoner Richard Glossip once again scheduled for execution, despite abundant evidence that he's not guilty of hiring another man to kill his boss. (If you're not familiar with the case, you can read about it here.)

Colorado College is apparently ready to dive into the weeds on the subject. The school is hosting a three-day series on the death penalty. It's open to the public, and more details are below:

The Colorado College History Department is hosting a three-day series of presentations on “Addressing Capital Punishment” for the campus and community. Cornell University Professor of History Paul Friedland will speak on “Why States Kill: The History of Capital Punishment from the Medieval to the Modern” at 7 p.m. Wednesday (Sept. 30) in Colorado College’s Worner Center, 902 N. Cascade Ave.

Thursday evening, San Quentin Prison Chaplain George Williams, S.J. will speak on “The Cost of Killing: Dimensions of Capital Punishment,” 7 p.m. in Colorado College’s Slocum Commons, 130 E. Cache La Poudre St. Finally, Friedland and Williams will lead a dialogue on “Does Capital Punishment Make Sense: Historical and Ethical Perspectives” at noon Friday in the Cornerstone Arts Center, 825 N. Cascade Ave.

The panel will be moderated by former Colorado College President Richard Celeste and followed by a luncheon and small group conversations in Worner Center. For more information, contact Joanna Popiel at (719) 389-6523.

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