Nov 10, 2013
During the month of May 1993, the manager at Chuck E. Cheese made a decision that would ultimately cost her the most precious thing she had, her life. Nathan Dunlap was hired as a cook only to be fired over a disagreement. The disgruntled former employee swore to former co-workers that he would 'get even'. One day in December while playing basketball with some other friends, he decided to follow through on his word saying he was 'going to go to his former place of employment, kill them all and take all the money'. Later that evening, he ate a sandwich at the restaurant and proceeded to wait in the bathroom until after closing to embark on his deadly attack ("Gunman Kills 4 Workers" 1). Because several of the details involved in the crime made this massacre especially heinous, the Arapahoe County prosecutor pushed for the death penalty.
In needing only one aggravating factor to win the death penalty, "Peters presented 28, including the fact that Dunlap had a prior felony, the fact that he committed a robbery during the killing spree, and the fact that he lay wait in the restroom before the shootings" (Doyle 5). The death penalty in this case appears to be the most appropriate punishment, however Nathan Dunlap is still being granted stays of execution and remains alive and in prison almost 20 years later. Although popularly thought to be a deterrent of crime, the death penalty is losing its reputation as a dreadful punishment. Based on the economics of crime, deterrence of crime, and the cost of execution (monetary and physical) the death penalty is not preferable to its alternative, life in prison without the chance of parole.
When deciding to commit a criminal act, individuals are...