Discussion, decision on handling of Colorado’s suppressed cases will occur in secret

A committee of Colorado judges and legal professionals will talk about and determine in personal whether or not to make modifications to courtroom rules that have allowed hundreds of felony and civil instances to be secreted from public view over the past 20 years.

The Colorado Supreme Courtroom’s 14-member Guidelines of Felony Procedure committee on Friday is expected to decide whether or not to shore up guidelines dealing with suppressed courtroom instances. But the committee, which includes 9 elected officers or representatives, won’t permit any member of the general public to attend.

As an alternative, any proposed rule can be revealed and public enter invited, together with public testimony before the complete Supreme Courtroom at a later date. The justices would then meet in secret to think about the suggestions and enter before issuing any ultimate rule.

“That there’s a chance for public input … isn’t an entire substitute for the general public’s potential to watch the formation of public policy,” stated lawyer Steven Zansberg, president of the Colorado Freedom of Info Committee.

The committee assembly is in response to a series of Denver Post stories that exposed the apply of suppressing instances from the general public, dozens of them felony instances through which defendants have been sentenced to prison phrases. Supreme Courtroom Chief Justice Nathan Coats requested the committee take up the difficulty.

Not each one of the Supreme Courtroom’s committees – there are 32 of them – does its enterprise in secret. For instance, the courtroom’s Public Access Committee, which decides how courtroom data are to be shared with the public, holds its meetings brazenly.

“Each committee decides if its meetings are open or not, and this committee (Guidelines of Legal Process) does not, as a rule, maintain public meetings,” Judicial Department spokesman Robert McCallum informed The Denver Submit in an e mail.

The Colorado Open Conferences Act, as with the Colorado Open Data Act, does not apply to the state’s judiciary.

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