Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Nearly All Lawmakers On Board For DNA Bill

A majority of Colorado lawmakers are sponsoring a bill ordering a new trial for Clarence Moses-EL and any other prisoner whose case DNA is destroyed by authorities despite a court order to preserve the evidence.

The legislation, filed Wednesday and signed by 82 House and Senate members out of 100 — including several former police officers — could mark the first time state leaders have attempted to reverse a criminal conviction, according to legislative librarians. And veteran lawmakers called the number of backers unusually large.

If the support stands, the vote would surpass the two-thirds needed to override a veto.

Moses-EL has spent 20 years in prison for a 1987 Denver rape. But in 1995, after Moses-EL's previous attorney didn't retrieve case evidence in the weeks after a court ordered it taken for DNA testing, Denver police threw away the victim's clothing and swabbings of her body. The tests that Moses-EL argues would prove him innocent have never been conducted.

"You don't throw away people's lives accidentally," said Sen. John Morse, D-Fountain, a former police chief who signed on as a sponsor of the measure. "Clearly, some in the criminal-justice system will say he (Moses-EL) had his day in court, but we don't know whether we found the truth. I believe you must have truth to win justice."


The Denver Post

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