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.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Thousands of Court Cases Jeopardized

9 News

DENVER - What a former laboratory technician said he did while working at a lab in Broomfield could call thousands of Colorado court cases into question.

Prosecutors in California are already reviewing more than 8,000 cases he might have worked on there, after a defense attorney found information about the technician's credibility. 

"We are just in the early stages of figuring out the scope of what this man did," said Brian Connors, chief deputy at the Office of the Colorado Public Defender. 

Thirty-year-old Aaron C. Layton worked at Forensic Laboratories in Broomfield in 2000 and 2001. The company has since relocated to Denver. It does drug and alcohol toxicology tests for numerous law enforcement agencies, county probation departments and even private businesses. While working at the lab, Layton testified in trials in Adams, Arapahoe, Jefferson and Weld Counties, and possibly others. 

After Layton left the Colorado lab, employment records show he applied for a job with the police department in Columbus, Ohio in 2003. He failed the first polygraph test. He then passed the second polygraph in which he admitted that while working at Forensic Laboratories, he never conducted second tests to confirm results. Layton said he claimed he did the confirmatory tests on his reports and said he even lied about it when on the stand. 

"If you look at his polygraph from Ohio, he says that it was company policy not to do confirmatory tests because of the expense and the time involved," Connors said, thumbing through a pile of employment and police records on Layton. 

"This could jeopardize every single test that that lab has ever done because it goes to the procedures that that laboratory routinely follows," defense attorney and 9NEWS Legal Analyst Scott Robinson said. "Anyone who has had a test that was contested from this particular laboratory now can come forward and seek relief."