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Colorado Supreme Court Opinions
April 21, 2014

2014 CO 26. Nos. 13SA261, 13SA262 & 13SA263. People v. Baez-Lopez; People v. Cantu-Bojorquez; People v. Soto-Lopez.
Colorado Wiretap Statute—Statutory Sealing Requirement for Wiretap Recordings—CRS § 16-15-102(8)(a).

The trial court suppressed wiretap evidence in three criminal cases when it concluded that the wiretap recordings were not sealed pursuant to written directions from the judge who authorized the wiretap. The Supreme Court held that CRS § 16-15-102(8)(a) does not require sealing directions to be written and that oral sealing directions are sufficient. The Court also held that the statute does not require a judge’s physical involvement in sealing wiretap recordings or any specific method of sealing. Accordingly, the Court reversed the suppression orders and remanded these cases to the trial court for further proceedings.

2014 CO 27. No. 12SC219. Hoang v. People.
Shackling—Meaningful and Speedy Appeal.

In this appeal, the Supreme Court considered (1) whether shackling a defendant at trial in a manner not plainly visible to the jury violates a defendant’s due process right; and (2) whether delays and deficiencies in the record on appeal violate a defendant’s rights to a meaningful and a speedy appeal. The Court held that when the record does not show that restraints were plainly visible, the defendant must point to something in the record justifying an appellate court’s reasonable inference that at least one juror saw or heard them; if a defendant fails to meet that burden, then the constitutional harmless error standard announced in Deck v. Missouri, 544 U.S. 622 (2005), does not apply. The Court held that defendant was not deprived of his due process rights to a meaningful and a speedy appeal because he was not prejudiced by deficiencies in the record or by the delay. The Court relied on a modified version of the speedy trial factors in Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514 (1972), as the analytical framework for evaluating whether there has been a due process violation. The judgment was affirmed.

Colorado Supreme Court Opinions