November 18, 2010

Colorado Court of Appeals decision 11-10-10

People v. Trujillo            Sex Offender Intensive Supervised Probation / Consecutive and Concurrent Sentences
Facts: Um… first let me say that I resisted the urge to look up the genius who worked out this deal for Mr. Trujillo. Mr. Trujillo pled to various offenses in Weld and Larimer counties. The genius part comes into play first by pleading Mr. Trujillo to a lifetime supervision sentence. Utter Brilliance. The second, running that stellar deal, lifetime supervision to probation, consecutively to his DOC sentence from Weld county – but concurrent with the parole. Guess what? Mr. Trujillo violated parole not once but twice. First he violated parole when he lived in the community, which caused the parole officer to regress him to community corrections. Second he violated parole while living in community corrections, which put him back in DOC. After the second violation of parole, his sweet and most decent probation officer filed a revocation of probation – using the two prior parole violations as the basis to revoke his probation. The district court found that Mr. Trujillo violated probation, and re-sentenced him to DOC. Awesome.

Issue: Can the district court order a probationary sentence to be served consecutively to a DOC sentence, but concurrent with the parole portion of that sentence?
Held: Sure, why not?
Reasoning: Because neither the general probationary sentence § 18-1.3-202 nor the more specific sex offender probation statute, § 18-1.3-1001 prohibit the imposition of such consecutive sentences, the trial court did not exceed its jurisdiction.

November 15, 2010

Colorado Supreme Court decision 11-15-10

People v. Vigil             Coerced Confession / Fruit of the Poisonous Tree
I lifted this synopsis from the Court:
“The supreme court affirms a trial court’s order suppressing a defendant’s confession because, under the voluntariness requirements of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, two police officers coerced a confession from the defendant by using excessive physical force during an unlawful arrest. In addition, contraband discovered as a result of the confession and unlawful arrest was appropriately suppressed as fruit of the poisonous tree.
The supreme court also affirms the trial court’s suppression of the defendant’s subsequent confession because it was infected by his earlier, coerced confession. After his arrest, the defendant received six hours of medical treatment. He was released into the custody of the same officers who had coerced his first confession, and those officers questioned him at 2:00 am. As a result, the officers were the beneficiaries of their earlier, coercive conduct.” 

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