Prosecutors want the state to be ready to execute convicted killer Nathan Dunlap, even though the governor gave him a reprieve.
Prosecutors asked a judge Monday to keep the case active in case a future governor lifts the reprieve.
Dunlap's lawyers argue the reprieve took the case out of the judge's hands.
Dunlap was scheduled to be executed in August for the 1993 ambush slayings of four employees at a suburban Denver pizzeria.
Hickenlooper granted Dunlap a temporary reprieve last month, citing doubts about the fairness of Colorado's death penalty.
Prosecutors want the judge to tell defense lawyers to file any motions they have in mind so they can be argued. The defense says that would be speculative and outside the court's power.
The judge says he'll rule soon.