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 16, 2010

Highlands Ranch pot grower wants trial - The Denver Post

Highlands Ranch pot grower wants trial - The Denver Post

A man charged with operating a large marijuana-growing operation in his Highlands Ranch basement abruptly reversed course today and said he won't agree to a plea deal with prosecutors.

Chris Bartkowicz had been scheduled to sign off on the agreement with prosecutors today during a "change of plea" hearing in federal court. But, instead, Bartkowicz's attorney told federal District Court Judge Philip Brimmer that Bartkowicz has decided he wants to argue his case at trial.

The next step is for the U.S. Attorney's Office to formally indict Bartkowicz, which the office's attorney on the case called "very likely."

"My client informs me that, in the event he is indicted, he intends to proceed to trial," Bartkowicz's attorney, Joseph Saint-Veltri said.

The move carries considerable risk for Bartkowicz. Though he says all of the marijuana he grew was provided either directly to medical-marijuana patients or to dispensaries, state medical-marijuana law may provide little to no shield for him in federal court. Bartkowicz also has prior felony drug convictions in state court, which would serve as sentence-enhancers if he were convicted in federal court, U.S. Attorney's spokesman Jeff Dorschner said.

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