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.

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Death Penalty Bill Ambushed

Colorado's death penalty may yet live on and the state could also spend more to investigate cold cases under amendments made in the Senate to one of this year's most controversial pieces of legislation.

House Bill 1274, as approved by the House, would have repealed the death penalty as a sentencing option and used the money saved by not prosecuting and appealing such cases — estimated to be at least $1 million a year — to fund the Colorado Bureau of Investigation's cold-case unit.

But a new version of the bill, drafted today just 15 minutes before the Senate was slated to vote on the original version, would charge people convicted of crimes a $2.50 fee and give that cash to local jurisdictions to pay detectives overtime to work unsolved homicides. The death penalty would remain in place. It passed with the support of five Democrats and the Republican caucus.

The drastic change must still survive a potential challenge later tonight, a third reading by the Senate and win approval from the House.

Democrat Sen. Morgan Carroll, sponsor of the original version, called the move "an ambush."

"Some people are looking for ways to avoid voting on the core issue," said Carroll, who spoke passionately about ending the death penalty. "This is a totally different bill that's not had a public hearing. It's gamesmanship that makes a mess of public policy."

Democrat Sen. John Morse, who upended Carroll's bill with his amendment, argued that repealing the death penalty is a controversial move that could have stood in the way of funding cold case resolutions. His version also directs funds to local jurisdictions rather than a statewide task force.


Anonymous said...

Surprised? NO! These morons ambushed this bill just like they ambush the citizens of Colorado. The majority of people voted in favor of abolishing the death penalty in Colorado. Maintaining death in Colorado must be beneficial financially to those who are already dead in spirit. Pro-Anti-Lifers. Whatever suits THEM.

I hold Bill Ritter accountable.

Colorado is a dead state. Karma.

Anonymous said...

Crime pays! A $2.50 fee to fund detectives working overtime...but the inmates will just pass this fee off to their families to pay, just like the families now pay for restitution when they send money in to their loved ones who are incarcerated.

Anonymous said...

would charge people convicted of crimes a $2.50 fee... When does it ever end?? The entire 'in'justice system in Colorado is about MONEY!! This is nothing more than another way to keep the prison full and the business industry booming at everyone's expense!!

Wake up taxpayers of Colorado.. Let your voices be heard in the only way politicians understand.. vote for changes come election day!!

Anonymous said...

the names of those politicians who propose the fee's need to be sent home. Vote them out there not for what the majority wants. Yes they are Moron's.djw

Anonymous said...

NOTE: The rush to change the death penalty bill - 15 minutes prior to being heard. It worked. The executioners of justice crawled out and exposed themselves for what they are. Frauds.

HOWEVER ... CCJJ would NOT review the bill that would significantly improve the progress in CDOC only a short while ago. Interesting, isn't it? Like I said before, it's NO MISTAKE.

Get rid of CCJJ. It's shameless.

Anonymous said...