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E58DA909B9C81517872582260070E44C Hearing Summary


Date Jan 31, 2018      
Location SCR 352

SB18-017 - Lay Over

01:33:06 PM  

Senator Lundberg, sponsor, explained Senate Bill 18-017 concerning granting judicial discretion to sentence a defendant to an indeterminate or determinate sentence for a sexual offense, and in connection therewith, requiring the criteria and basis for the sentencing decision to be articulated on the public record.  Senator Lundberg provided exampes of sex offenders in prison not receiving the treatment they need.  He emphasized that courts should have prerogatives in determining appropriate sentences for sex offenses.   


01:36:00 PM  

Senator Lundberg answered questions from the committee about the legislative declaration.  He further clarified that the bill does not stike indeterminate sentencing provisions and instead simply adds more sentencing options to the law.



01:39:03 PM  

Laurie Rose Kepros, representing the Office of State Public Defender, testified in favor of the bill.  She favored the bill because it allows judges to use discretion to determine the type and length of sentence for sex offenders.  She further cited studies about how treatment needs to be tailored accordingly and that inverse results occur if low risk offenders receive high risk treatment.  She emphasized that the bill allows for differentiation between high and low risk offenders.  She answered questions from the committee regarding research cited in the legislative declaration, low and high risk offenders, and victims. 



01:52:11 PM  

Katharina Booth, representing the 20th Judicial District and the Colorado District Attorneys' Council, testified in opposition to the bill.  She explained that the bill reduces predictability in sentencing which negatively impacts victims.  She also brought up constitutional issues with the bill.  Discussion ensued about research findings, unintended consequences, and the relationship between risk assessment tools and recidivism. 


02:15:29 PM  

Amanda Gall, representing the 1st Judicial District and the Colorado District Attorneys' Council, spoke in opposition to the bill.  She expressed concerns that judges do not have adequate information about sex offenders to make discretionary sentencing decisions.  She also noted constitutional issues with the bill and suggested drafting changes to include mitigating factors.  She answered questions from the committee about indeterminate sentences, incentives, and the number of sex offenders in the criminal justice system. 



02:26:17 PM  

Laura Richards, representing herself, spoke against the bill.  Ms. Richards shared her perspective as a victim of sexual abuse and expressed her concerns about judges having too much discretion.  She answered questions from the commitee and relayed that there is comfort in knowing that her perpetrator is supervised and receiving treatment. 

02:32:29 PM  

Nikki Braning Detterrera, representing herself, spoke in opposition to the bill. She provided a personal account explaining how her perpetrator manipulated the criminal justice system.  Discussion followed regarding identifying high and low risk sex offenders. 

02:45:28 PM  

Allison Boyd, representing victims, spoke against the bill.  Ms. Boyd explained that she is a victim's advocate and on the Sex Offender Management Board.  She expressed concern that judges do not know enough about a sex offender at the time of sentencing to make an educated decision.  The committee asked her questions about plea bargains and lifetime sentences. 



02:51:12 PM  

Jean McAlister, representing the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance, testified in opposition to the bill.  She also expressed concerns that judges do not have access to adequate information to make sentencing decisions about sex offenders.  She stressed that lifetime supervision was designed to determine actuarial risk and take into consideration other dynamic risk factors. 

02:58:08 PM  

Maureen Cain, representing the Colorado State Public Defender's Office, spoke in support of the bill.  She clarified that the bill allows judges more, and better tailored, options in determining sentences.  She answered questions from the committee about the use of plea bargains to get around lifetime determinate sentences.



03:04:49 PM  

Susan Walker, representing the Coalition for Sexual Offense Restoration, spoke in support of the bill.  She relayed a personal story involving her son and discussed the problems of over-treating sex offenders. 

03:10:31 PM  

Carrie Thompson, representing the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, testified in favor of the bill.  She disagreed with the constitutional issues raised by the district attorneys but expressed a willingness to work with them to find agreed upon language.  She explained that a wide range of behaviors need a wide range of responses and the bill offers choices for judges. 

Senator Lundberg requested that the bill be laid over to work on amendments. 

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