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, April 24, 2009

New Trial Ordered in 1991 Murders

The Denver Post

An El Paso County judge has ordered a new trial for a man convicted of double homicide, saying that DNA and other newly discovered evidence could acquit him.

Tim Kennedy, 52, was convicted in 1997 and sentenced to 50 years for the murders of Jennifer Carpenter, 15, and her boyfriend, Steve Staskiewicz, 37.

"The case starts over now, so we will be preparing for trial if the DA wants to proceed. That remains to be seen," said Kennedy's attorney, John Dicke.

Prosecutors hadn't had a chance to review District Judge Thomas Kane's ruling Thursday afternoon, said Shelly LaGrill, executive assistant for theEl Paso County District Attorney's Office. "It would be inappropriate for us to comment."

Carpenter and Staskiewicz were shot in 1991 in their Colorado Springstrailer while hiding from her former housemate, Rebecca Corkins, and Corkins' boyfriend, Charles Stroud.

Carpenter feared that the couple would have her killed before she could testify against them in their trial for kidnapping, rape and assault on her four months earlier.

In asking for a new trial, Kennedy's attorneys argued that prosecutors hid an important letter from Stroud to Corkins.

They also argued that the lawyers who handled Kennedy's trial defense didn't interview important witnesses, including one who said Corkins told her about a plot to have a man named Patrick Dudley kill Carpenter.

Dicke and his partner, Kathleen Carlson, also submitted evidence showing that DNA on items gripped by whoever shot and dragged the victims did not belong to Kennedy.