Colorado Supreme Court Opinions

July 02, 2018

2018 CO 65. No. 18SA113, In the Matter of the Title

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2018 CO 66. No. 16SC661, People v. Stellabotte

The Supreme Court held that ameliorative, amendatory legislation applies retroactively to non-final convictions under CRS § 18-1-410(1)(f), unless the amendment contains language indicating it applies only prospectively. In this case, defendant committed crimes that (at the time of the offenses) constituted class 4 felonies. But before defendant had been convicted and sentenced, the General Assembly amended the statute to change the crime to a class 5 felony, with a correspondingly lower sentence. The amended statute did not say whether it applied prospectively or retroactively. But the trial court sentenced defendant for two class 4 felonies under the old statute. Because the division of the Court of Appeals properly concluded that defendant should have received the benefit of the amended statute’s ameliorative effects under CRS § 18-1-410(1)(f) (providing relief where a defendant alleges that “there has been significant change in the law, applied to the applicant’s conviction or sentence, allowing in the interests of justice retroactive application of the changed legal standard”), the Court affirmed the division’s judgment.

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