DENVER - A proposal to abolish the death penalty in Colorado is getting hours of emotional testimony from people who argue the penalty is unfair and ineffective, and others who see it as a just punishment.
The House Judiciary Committee was expected to take a first vote on the measure Tuesday evening.
There was passionate arguments from both sides of the issue.
"If you committed an armed robbery and you pistol whipped two or three different people your sentence would be bigger for each victim potentially, but here if this law passes, there's no extra consequence no matter how many people you kill. That is an injustice," George Brauchler, 18th Judical District Attorney, said.
Lawmakers have heard from a man whose wrongful conviction put him on death row for 12 years.
"The system got it wrong 142 times I was one of them. If it had not been for the fact that I recently got life without parole, I would be dead today," said Randy Steidl, who was cleared of the death penalty.
A big question looms: will Governor John Hickenlooper sign a bill that ends capital punishment?
He told 9NEWS recently that the possibility of an execution order landing on his desk has him re-thinking the issue.
"The idea is I'm going to tell some other person 'kill that person,' right? So I'm instructing a person to kill someone else. That's a pretty hard decision to make," Hickenlooper said.
There are three men on Colorado's death row, but the bill would not affect current cases. That means the case of the Aurora theater shooting suspect will also not be affected.
Rep. Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora) has an alternate bill that would send the death penalty question to voters. It will be heard Wednesday.
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation with The Associated Press)