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

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.