This was news to me...In the midst of pro/con death penalty agitation surrounding the case of Stanley "Tookie" Williams was the following:
Rome's Colosseum, once the arena for deadly gladiator combat and executions, has become a symbol of Italy's death penalty opposition. Since 1999, the monument has been bathed in golden light every time a death sentence is commuted somewhere in the world or a country abolishes capital punishment.
"I hope there will be such an occasion soon," Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni said. "When it happens, we will do it with a special thought for Tookie."
Here's a BBC article from the 1999 campaign, in which then mayor Francesco Rutelli said:
"I think all over the world the Colosseum is known as a place of death and as a place of amusements linked to death...Today we want to make a positive link between the Colosseum and life."
And here's more on the Colosseum...er, Flavian Amphitheatre...