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.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Action Alert: Abolish The Death Penalty

Legislative Action Alert! HB 1274 (abolition of the death penalty)

House Judiciary Committee, Monday, Jan. 23rd at 1:30pm

(Old Supreme Court building at the Capitol)

This action alert comes from the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, a coalition partner of CCJRC. The CCJRC Board of Directors unanimously voted to support HB 1274, which would abolish the death penalty in Colorado and use funds not spent on death penalty prosecutions to fund a cold case unit in the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to try and solve some of the 1,400+ unsolved murders that have occurred in Colorado since 1970. Sponsored (again) by Rep Paul Weissmann (D-Louisville), this bill is supported by a broad coalition of criminal defense attorneys, faith communities, and Families of Homicide Victims and Missing Persons.

Historically, CCJRC has not weighed in on the death penalty legislation since it is outside of our direct mission. However, in the fall of 2008, the CCJRC Board of Directors developed a new policy so that CCJRC can be more of an ally to our coalition partners. After consideration by the CCJRC Board, it was decided that HB 1274 aligns with our values and purpose as an organization, even though it doesn’t directly align with our mission of reversing the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We understand that all of our members may not support the abolition of the death penalty.

Thank you. Pam, Carol and Christie

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

FROM THE COLORADO CRIMINAL DEFENSE BAR ASSOCIATION:

Help us abolish the Death Penalty!

This year, Rep. Paul Weissmann is once again working on abolishing the Death Penalty in Colorado. Building off of success from previous years, Rep. Weissman recently introduced House Bill 1274. This bill would fund a statewide cold case unit by shifting some of the savings freed up by abolishing the Death Penalty in Colorado. HB 1274 is being heard by the House Judiciary Committee this Monday, February 23, at 1:30pm in the old Supreme Court Room.

Please show your support for HB 1274 by contacting the committee members today!

We know that most of you can articulate strong philosophical, moral, and legal arguments against the death penalty, but please try to focus your emails on the monetary cost of the death penalty in Colorado, particularly the fact that the Death Penalty is a failed public policy. With only one execution in the last forty years, over 40 million dollars spent on it in the last ten, and no actual proof that the death penalty works as a deterrent, there is no coherent argument that life without parole is not a more effective and efficient public policy.

HB 1274 is also sponsored by a victim right's group that is asking that a portion of the money saved by abolishing the death penalty be used to help solve cold cases. In light of this, please encourage the committee members vote of support for HB 1274 because it will save money by eliminating a failed public policy and will use part of this money to help families of unsolved murders try to obtain resolution of their cases. Here are a few points to focus on:

· There are 1430 unsolved murders in Colorado since 1970 according to the Families of Homicide Victims and Missing Persons.

· The cold case unit established in 2007 to solve these murders was funded at $67,800 a year.

· It is estimated the Cold Case Team at CBI — with expanded lab facilities and administrative support—will cost from $1.5 to 3.0 million per year.

· In the last 40 years there have been 7,000 murders in Colorado. During that period, our District Attorneys have attempted to impose the death penalty 130 times, but have only executed one person.

· The cost to prosecute and defend these accused killers in a death penalty case: $4 million per year in excess of a non death penalty trial

Below are the members of the House Judiciary Committee

Rep. Claire Levy (D-Boulder), chairman – 303-866-2578, claire.levy.house@state.co.us

Rep. Beth McCann (D-Denver), vice-chairman – 303-966-2959, ehmccann@comcast.net

Rep. Dennis Apuan (D-El Paso), 303-866-3069, repdennisapuan@gmail.com

Rep. Lois Court (D-Denver), 303-866-2967, loiscourt@msn.com

Rep. Bob Gardner (R-El Paso), 303-866-2191, bob.gardner.house@state.co.us

Rep. Steve King (R-Delta), 303-866-3068, steve.king.house@state.co.us

Rep. Joe Miklosi (D-Denver), 303-866-2910, joe@joemiklosi.com

Rep. Sal Pace (D-Pueblo), 303-966-2968, sal_pace@hotmail.com

Rep. Ellen Roberts (R-Archuleta), 303-866-2914, ellen.roberts.house@state.co.us

Rep. Su Ryden (D-Arapahoe), 303-866-2942, su@suryden.com

Rep. Mark Waller (R-El Paso), 303-866-5525, mark.waller.house@state.co.us

Please contact the House Judiciary Committee Members and your representatives today! Liberty, Justice, Equality,

The Colorado Criminal Defense Bar

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pam and Christie...you need to change the date. It says January 23 not February 23. I will email everyone on the list today!

SHARON MARSAK said...

IF WE KILL ONE INNOCENT PERSON,because of the DEATH PENALTY< ONE is TOO MANY> ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALTY!

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