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.


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

DNA Bill Sent To Ritter

Colorado lawmakers on Monday finalized a bill designed to prevent wrongful imprisonments by requiring that biological evidence be preserved in major felony crimes for the life of the defendant.

The measure now goes to Gov. Bill Ritter, who has expressed his support. The bill mandates uniform standards for retention of DNA specimens. It also establishes notification procedures for tossing evidence in lesser crimes and requires that state courts keep statistics on cases that pivot on DNA.

"We're happy," said Rebecca Brown, policy analyst for the New York-based Innocence Project, which lobbied for the law. "This bill will help resolve any doubts that may arise about someone's guilt or innocence."

A related measure, seeking a new trial for a convict whose case DNA was destroyed by the Denver Police Department in 1995 — following a court order to preserve it — was gutted after Ritter threatened a veto. The surviving language, which sponsors say Ritter supports, does recognize that judges may bring sanctions in post-2003 cases with similar circumstances, such as those that might involve negligent evidence handling.


The Denver Post

3 comments:

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