October 30, 2011

Colorado Court of Appeals 10-13-11 Criminal Law Decision - People v. Mendoza

People v. Mendoza            Sexually Violent Predator            
Facts: The prosecution charged Mr. Mendoza with an F4 sexual assault on a child, five counts of F3 sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust, and an F3 sexual assault on a child as part of a pattern. Mr. Mendoza had a good defense lawyer who got the prosecution to offer and him to take the F5 - attempted sexual assault on a child. Subsequent to the plea, Mr. Mendoza completed a presentence investigation and sex offender evaluation. The evaluation came back designating Mr. Mendoza a sexually violent predator. Mr. Mendoza challenged the SVP statute under various constitutional grounds.
Issue: Whether the SVP statute violates Equal Protection or Due Process?
Held: No.
Reasoning: Essentially, because the Court of Appeals bought the fiction that sex offenses get under reported, the SORS score, which accounted for the fictional under reporting, did not violate Mr. Mendoza’s rights  (fiction because the “research”,based upon political agendas and prosecutorial fantasies, claims to know what is unknowable, that SEX CRIMES GET UNDERREPORTED!!! the capitalization and exclamation make it so!).  Essentially, the Court of Appeals adopted the HANDBOOK:
Because violent crimes are almost twice as likely to
be reported to law enforcement compared to sexual
crimes, and because research has found that only
43 percent of reported sex crimes against adults
result in an arrest, and fewer still in prosecution
and conviction, the [Division's Office of Research
and Statistics] uses violent arrest as the recidivism
measure in sex offender studies. The use of violent
crime as an outcome measure is a reasonable proxy,
as these crimes have a significant impact on public
safety and, in the case of sex offenders, may have a
sexual component or motivation.

Due Process: The Court of Appeals did not care to actually look at how unfair, inaccurate, suspect, and wildly subjective the SVP designation was in Colorado, and thus, the Court of Appeals denied Mr. Mendoza’s procedural due process claim. Accordingly, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s finding Mr. Mendoza as a sexually violent offender.

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