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i_sentencingreform_2017a_2017-08-09t09:04:26z3 Hearing Summary

Date: 08/09/2017

Location: SCR 357


Practitioner's Perspective: Prosecution


Votes: View--> Action Taken:
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11:30 AM -- Practitioner's Perspective: Prosecution

The committee returned to order. Mr. Tom Raynes, Executive Director, Colorado District Attorneys' Council; Ms. Amy Fitch, Deputy District Attorney, Fourth Judicial District; Ms. Katharina Booth, Assistant District Attorney, Twentieth Judicial District; and Mr. Rich Orman, Chief Deputy District Attorney, Eighteenth Judicial District, provided the perspective of prosecutors on criminal sentencing in Colorado. Mr. Raynes provided background on how legislation has been enacted and has evolved in recent decades in the areas falling under the committee's charge, and discussed the role of CCJJ in policy formulation. He addressed the issue of transparency in sentencing. Ms. Fitch addressed the issue of mandatory sentencing from the prosecution perspective, and explained what types of offenses result in mandatory sentences.

11:45 AM

Ms. Fitch catalogued the types of offenses that constitute crimes of violence, and responded to questions regarding the use of sentence review as allowed under state law. Ms. Booth provided background on changes in sentencing law for certain crimes, discussing in particular legislation concerning extraordinary risk crimes. Ms. Fitch noted some potential inaccuracies in earlier testimony, and talked about complexities inherent to sentencing in Colorado. Ms. Fitch responded to questions regarding judicial discretion.

12:00 PM

Mr. Orman explained why sentencing law needs to be simplified for clarity, and discussed the impacts of crime. Mr. Orman discussed statistics associated with sentence modifications, and addressed questions raised during earlier testimony. Ms. Booth returned to the issue of habitual criminal sentencing, and responded to questions regarding habitual criminal statistics. Mr. Raynes provided input on this issue, and also discussed plea bargaining. Mr. Orman responded to questions regarding a report he discussed about sentence modifications.

12:16 PM

Discussion ensued regarding the "stacking" of offenses and how this invokes the habitual criminal statute.

12:18 PM

The committee recessed.