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Colorado Supreme Court Opinions
April 8, 2013

2013 CO 20. No. 12SA284. People v. Barraza.
Criminal Law—Fifth Amendment—Suppression of Evidence and Statements—Custodial Interrogation—MirandaAdvisement.

In this interlocutory appeal, the Supreme Court considered whether the district court erred in suppressing evidence and statements defendant made to law enforcement officers. The district court concluded that the officers were required to administer a Miranda warning to defendant before police questioning that occurred on the driveway outside his home, and that failure to give the advisement required suppression of two sets of statements defendant made to the police. The second set of statements made at the police station followed the Miranda advisement; however, the trial court ruled those statements were fruit of the poisonous tree because defendant received no Miranda warning before making the first set of statements outside his home.

The Court reversed the district court’s suppression order. Defendant was not subject to custodial interrogation at the time he made the statements at his home, so it was error to suppress both sets of statements.

2013 CO 21. No. 12SA75. People v. Luna-Solis.
Interlocutory Appeal—Discovery Violations—Suppression.

The People filed an interlocutory appeal pursuant to CRS § 16-12-102(2) and CAR 4.1, as well as a petition pursuant to CAR 21, seeking relief from a district court order suppressing statements made by defendant and excluding DNA evidence. Although the district court found that the statements in question were voluntary and were made after an effective waiver of Miranda rights, it suppressed them on the ground that the Sixth Amendment barred the Denver police from questioning defendant about this ongoing Arapahoe County prosecution unless his counsel in the case were present. The district court also excluded DNA evidence collected by the Denver police in the execution of a Crim.P. 41.1 order of the Denver County Court, on the ground that they sought the order, at least in part, for the benefit of the prosecution in this case.

The Supreme Court reversed, holding that because defendant’s Miranda waiver effectively waived his right to counsel as guaranteed by the Fifth and Sixth Amendments, the district court erred in suppressing statements as a violation of defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel. Furthermore, because Crim.P. 16 II imposes disclosure obligations on criminal defendants without simultaneously barring the use of evidence acquired through otherwise lawful investigation, the district court erred in finding a discovery violation and excluding DNA evidence.

2013 CO 22. No. 10SC616. Perez v. People.
Anonymous Jury—Numbers Jury—Presumption of Innocence.

The Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals’ judgment, which found that the practice of referring to prospective jurors by number did not invalidate defendant’s conviction. The Court held that the practice employed by the trial court did not warrant application of the federal anonymous jury test because no juror information was withheld from defendant. Further, the practice did not violate defendant’s right to a fair trial, including the presumption of innocence, because jurors had no reason to infer anything negative about defendant.

2013 CO 23. No. 11SC375. Rizo v. People.
Anonymous Jury—Numbers Jury—Presumption of Innocence.

The Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals’ judgment, which found that the practice of referring to prospective jurors by number did not invalidate defendant’s conviction. The Court held that the practice employed by the trial court did not warrant application of the federal anonymous jury test because no juror information was withheld from defendant. Further, the practice did not violate defendant’s right to a fair trial, including the presumption of innocence, because jurors had no reason to infer anything negative about defendant.

2013 CO 24. No. 11SC333. Robles v. People.
Anonymous Jury—Numbers Jury—Presumption of Innocence.

The Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals’ judgment, which found that the practice of referring to prospective jurors by number did not invalidate defendant’s conviction. The Court held that the practice employed by the trial court did not warrant application of the federal anonymous jury test because no juror information was withheld from defendant. Further, the practice did not violate defendant’s right to a fair trial, including the presumption of innocence, because jurors had no reason to infer anything negative about defendant.

Colorado Supreme Court Opinions

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