Rebecca Wallace, Senior Staff Attorney and Senior Policy Counsel with American Civil Liberty Union (ACLU), stated that the ACLU sees great value for this work to move forward on a national level and with uniformity and sees positive things in the act. But it does not want to see the act move forward to drafting without substantial feedback from the community and other stakeholders. Reform in this area of law has had problems with finding agreement in Colorado regarding clear and convincing standards, cash bail, and bond release. Some concerns with the act include the limited summons provision and the lack of a definition for covered offenses. A narrow definition could help Colorado move forward in this area; a broad definition could move us back. These issues could be worked out during drafting, but are so central to reform that they should be discussed and some level of agreement reached before drafting starts.
Commissioner Levy, a member of the Uniform Law Commission's (ULC) drafting committee for the act, explained that the committee deliberately left the definition of covered offenses open so that it would be defined at the state level. The commission agreed that additional stakeholder involvement is necessary; stakeholders are vested in participating in the process and we need time to bring them into discussions. The commission asked if there were any constitutional concerns for the act and Ms. Wallace replied that there could be an issue regarding the definition of covered offenses that, in Colorado, may require a constitutional amendment to enact. Colorado's constitution allows a judge to intentionally detain a person only for a limited set of offenses, i.e., capital offenses. Commissioner Gardner volunteered to bring the act to the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice (CCJJ) and the commission asked that victim rights and other groups also be involved in the stakeholder process.
The commission will not move forward with this act at this time, but will have Commissioners Tipper and Morris request the Office of Legislative Legal Services (OLLS) to provide input regarding what definitions of covered acts would require a referred measure and what definitions would not.