DENVER (AP) — Colorado lawmakers will begin debate in the coming days about whether to abolish the death penalty in the state.

It will be an issue that will have strong emotional significance for lawmakers with stories closely connected to the debate.

Democratic Rep. John Buckner of Aurora was the principal at the high school where each of the three men currently on death row attended at different times.

Aurora Democrat Rhonda Fields' son was gunned down at an intersection to stop him from testifying at a murder trial. Two men convicted in that shooting are on death row.

If the bill becomes law, it won't apply to current cases.

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