Yesterday, Robert Ray was sentenced to death in connection with the 2005 murders of Javad Marshall-Fields and his fiancee, Vivian Wolfe -- a verdict that duplicated the one previously given to Ray's accomplice, Sir Mario Owens. The ruling brings the population of Colorado's death row to three; Nathan Dunlap, who was convicted in 1996 of four slayings at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant, is the third member of this ignominious group.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Both Owens and Ray were on a list of "Inmates Waitin' Around to Die" -- the title of Alan Prendergast's sidebar to a feature article about Arapahoe County District Attorney Carol Chambers' approach to billing the prison system for expensive death-penalty prosecutions. As for the states with the largest death row populations, California, Florida and Texas traditionally lead the pack, and their stats certainly dwarf Colorado's. According to a searchable page on the Death Penalty Information Center website, California's current death-row population is 678, followed by Florida with 402 and Texas with 358.
These numbers will reassure most Coloradans -- but not the friends and family of Marshall-Fields and Wolfe.