Still stifled by a divided General Assembly, the 2018 legislative session did not prove to be a
particularly productive session in matters relating to criminal and juvenile justice. The cloud
surrounding allegations of sex harassment in the Capitol and the up-coming elections did not help
the situation. The potential sun-setting of Colorado’s Civil Rights Division and Commission was
demonstrative of the divisive tone throughout the session. The Masterpiece case fueled efforts to
defund the commission and efforts to change the make-up of the commission. Ultimately, the
HB18-1256 passed and the Colorado Civil Rights Division and Commission were reauthorized for
nine more years with some tweaks to the make-up of the commission.
During the 2017 summer interim a legislative committee spent the summer studying
comprehensive sentence reform in the criminal justice system. I was asked to testify and present
on the issues of mandatory minimums and habitual offender sentencing and the need for reform
from the criminal defense attorney perspective. Members of the committee asked that numerous
potential bills be drafted as a result of the discussion and were required to select a limit of five
bills to introduce in the 2018 session. Committee for the Study of Criminal Justice
Reform eventually recommended five bills for introduction.