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May 23, 2013 12:34 AM by Eric Ross

Victim reacts to Hickenlooper's decision to spare Dunlap's life

There's been a lot of reaction to Governor Hickenlooper's decision to spare convicted killer Nathan Dunlap's life.

"The decision has weighed heavily on me for over a year now," Hickenlooper said during a news conference Wednesday in Denver.

In the end, Hickenlooper decided to save Dunlap from lethal injection this August.

"This is a conclusion I have come to on this individual case," Hickenlooper said. "I have received new information that has changed the way I look at the benefits of the death penalty and have questioned whether there are any benefits."

Bobby Stephens, the only survivor in the Aurora Chuck E Cheese shooting disagrees with Hickenlooper's decision.

"I feel like the wind has been kicked straight out of me," he said. " I kind of feel like everybody has turned against the victims. I think everything has kind of taken a turn for the worst."

Now married with six children, Stephens was hoping the execution would close a chapter in his life that's hard to forget.

"I thought we were on the right path and were heading in the direction we needed to go," he said. "Now I feel like I've been blindsided."

Dunlap's life will be spared as long as Hickenlooper is in office. His term expires next year and he does have the ability to run again.

If a new governor is elected, he or she will take precedent over the decision on whether to execute Dunlap.

 

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