AURORA, Colo. — His 2009 vote to abolish the death penalty in Colorado may come back to haunt Democratic state Rep. Joe Miklosi in November.
Mr. Miklosi is challenging Republican Rep. Mike Coffman in Colorado’s newly drawn 6th congressional district, which now encompasses all of Aurora, including the site of the July 20 movie theater massacre.
Three years ago, Democrats made a push to eliminate the death penalty in Colorado after gaining control of both legislative chambers and the governor’s seat. A bill to end capital punishment passed the state House on a party-line vote, but lost by one vote in the state Senate after four Democrats sided with Republicans to defeat the legislation.
Mr. Miklosi voted with the state House majority to repeal the death penalty, as did Democratic state Rep. Sal Pace, who’s running to unseat Republican Rep. Scott Tipton in Colorado’s 3rd congressional district. Mr. Coffman supports capital punishment.
Prosecutors are now weighing whether to seek the death penalty for James Eagen Holmes, the suspect in the Aurora theater shooting.
“Obviously no one knew the name James Eagen Holmes at the time [in 2009], but this is exactly the kind of barbaric scenario that we discussed,” former Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry told the Colorado Observer. “For truly heinous crimes like these, the death penalty isn’t only a good option, it is what justice requires.”