Treat all crime victims with respect and dignity.
  • Petitioning Thomas Raynes

This petition will be delivered to:

Colorado District Attorneys' Council
Thomas Raynes

Treat all crime victims with respect and dignity.

    1. Petition by

      National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

On October 18, 2002, Bob and Lola Autobee lost their son Eric. He was 23 years old and worked as a corrections officer for the Colorado Department of Corrections. Eric was murdered by an inmate while in plain view of a control station that was unstaffed. Bob, a former corrections officer himself, originally wanted the death penalty for his son’s killer.  Now, more than a decade later, he has changed his mind, but the lead prosecutor on the case, George Brauchler, is trying to keep Bob and his wife Lola from sharing their views during the sentencing hearing. 

In his February 2013 Op Ed Bob publically came out against the death penalty.  He wrote:

“No one would ever call me soft on crime. For nearly all of my life, I supported the death penalty…That was the old me, before I learned and experienced how the system really doesn’t work. It has been a nightmare. Given what I know now, I can no longer support Colorado’s broken death penalty system…More than anything we don’t want any other parents to ever have to bury their child. By the time we are thinking about punishing, it’s too late. What we need is effective prevention.” 

Bob shared his personal struggle with how he came to oppose the death penalty:

“I cried every day. I was in this downward spiral. It cost me my faith. I couldn’t even pray anymore, and I’d grown up in the church.”  As a person of faith, he returned to the bible, and his renewed faith in God has led him to forgive his son’s killer and to oppose his death sentence.  Bob now has chosen to direct his energy toward seeking repeal of the death penalty.  In 2013, Bob testified before the Colorado legislature, “My son’s life was about love and life … so please don’t saddle my son’s name with the death penalty… I am begging our elected officials to do away with our broken death penalty system.” 

Because the Autobee family's beliefs conflict with the prosecution’s agenda, they feel like they have been relegated to second-class victims—ones whose voices are being silenced in the criminal justice process.

Stand with Bob and Lola Autobee and victims’ family members across the country in demanding that all victims be treated with respect and dignity regardless of their views on the death penalty!

The Autobees are not the first family to oppose the death penalty for their loved one’s murderer, and remaining silent about the discrimination and marginalization that the Autobees are facing in Colorado makes us all complicit in a system of justice that values some victims more than others.  

A family member’s willingness to cooperate (or not) with the prosecutor’s decision to seek the death penalty should not influence his/her equal access to protection of victims’ rights and access to victims’ services.  

 

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    1. Reached 2,500 signatures

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    • Anita Kanitz STUTTGART, GERMANY
      • about 1 month ago

      “The great mission of our day is not conquering the sea or space, disease or tyranny. The grand quest which calls to the hero in every one of us is to become fully alive--to stand up and claim our birthright, which is inner freedom, love and radiant purpose. By fulfilling this, we transform the world.”

      ― Jacob Nordby

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    • Tina Apel GERMANY
      • about 1 month ago

      ich bin gegen die Todesstrafe

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    • dori ahern WEST HAVEN,, CT
      • about 1 month ago

      Mr. Autobee's statement that the Death Penalty is a hate crime, rings true to the core. I was raised in a family headed by a man who loves to hate. Even today he is posting pictures and video of the beheading of the unfortunate and courageous journalist who met his end at the hands of the Taliban, whom our government funded and supplied with weapons for decades. I viewed Amy Goodman's Democracy Now this morning, celebrating the release of Leon Brown and Henry McCollum, who were wrongfully convicted of the rape/murder of a child in 1983. I have long been against the death penalty. But this case I remember. I was a teen myself, pregnant with my first child. When I read about this crime, how the little girl was killed by having her panties stuffed down her throat, I was repulsed at the cruelty. I thought to myself, "Whomever could do that to a child is incapable of redemption". Because of that case I thought, perhaps sometimes the death penalty is the best option. This was in the early 80s where the right wingers were screaming, "Three strikes and your out!" and "tough on crime", etc. etc. Today I learned that Chief Justice Antonin Scalia touted this very case when he defended the death penalty. It was very good PR on the part of the Nazis running our government, if it could flip me. My heart breaks for these men who have suffered for 30 years on death row, and for the Autobee family, who after losing their son, must now watch as the State lusts after the blood of another man's son, while silencing their protests.

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      • 4 months ago

      The death penalty needs to be relegated to the Dark Ages. We expect much more of ourselves and others in our contemporary civilization than premeditated acts of state-sanctioned killing for any reason. It's long past time to abolish the death penalty, as it serves no purpose that rises above the harm it causes to us as a people or as taxpayers.

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    • Barbara Robinson DAYTON, OH
      • 4 months ago

      The death penalty is unfair, prejudiced against people of color, and revenge is out of date. Come on. Grow up. We're better than that.

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