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Colorado killer's reprieve infuriates families, draws sharp criticism of governor from GOP

  • a1572b02289c9f11320f6a706700abb5.jpg

    Religious leaders from Colorado, from left, Dr. Jim Ryan, Colorado Council of Churches, Dean Peter Eaton, St. John's Cathedral, Rabbi Steven Foster and Catholic Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila listen as Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper announces at a news conference at the Capitol in Denver on Wednesday, May 22, 2013, that he was granting a temporary reprieve to Nathan Dunlap from his death sentence. Dunlap was scheduled to be executed in August for the murders of four people in 1993 at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant. Hickenlooper only referred to Dunlap as Offender NO. 89148. He would not use Dunlap's name. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski) (The Associated Press)

  • 005b226b28999e11320f6a7067008bca.jpg

    RETRANSMISSION TO CORRECT YEAR OF MURDERS - People listen as Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper announces at a news conference at the Capitol in Denver on Wednesday, May 22, 2013, that he was granting a temporary reprieve to Nathan Dunlap from his death sentence. Dunlap was scheduled to be executed in August for the murders of four people in 1993 at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant. Hickenlooper only referred to Dunlap as Offender NO. 89148. He would not use Dunlap's name. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski) (The Associated Press)

  • 63b1722128949e11320f6a70670065c5.jpg

    RETRANSMISSION TO CORRECT YEAR OF MURDERS - Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper speaks at a news conference at the Capitol in Denver on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 where he announced that he was granting a temporary reprieve to Nathan Dunlap from his death sentence. Dunlap was scheduled to be executed in August for the murders of four people in 1993 at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski) (The Associated Press)

  • 62db492a28939e11320f6a7067009da4.jpg

    RETRANSMISSION TO CORRECT YEAR OF MURDERS - Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper speaks at a news conference at the Capitol in Denver on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 where he announced that he was granting a temporary reprieve to Nathan Dunlap from his death sentence. Dunlap was scheduled to be executed in August for the murders of four people in 1993 at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski) (The Associated Press)

  • f57b561428929e11320f6a706700c3d8.jpg

    RETRANSMISSION TO CORRECT YEAR OF MURDERS - Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper speaks at a news conference at the Capitol in Denver on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 where he announced that he was granting a temporary reprieve to Nathan Dunlap from his death sentence. Dunlap was scheduled to be executed in August for the murders of four people in 1993 at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant. Hickenlooper only referred to Dunlap as Offender NO. 89148. He would not use Dunlap's name. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski) (The Associated Press)

Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper's decision to block the execution of convicted killer Nathan Dunlap for as long as he is governor infuriated victims' families and brought quick criticism from Republicans.

Hickenlooper granted Dunlap an indefinite reprieve Wednesday. Dunlap is on death row for the ambush slayings of four people in 1993.

The reprieve essentially guarantees Dunlap will stay alive at least through Jan. 13, 2015, the last day of Hickenlooper's first term.

Marj Crowell, whose 19-year-old daughter Sylvia Crowell was killed, says Hickenlooper took "the cowardly way out."

Hickenlooper is running for re-election next year, and Dunlap's fate is certain to be a campaign issue. No prominent Republican has signed up to challenge him, but his decision on Dunlap prompted unusually personal criticism from the GOP.

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