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Colorado Supreme Court to hear arguments at Chatfield High School on May 3, 2016

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

UPDATE: Second case added to the May 3, 2016, docket at Chatfield High School

DENVER – The Colorado Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two cases on Tuesday, May 3, 2016, at Chatfield High School in Littleton before an audience of students. The public also is invited to attend.

The visit is part of the Colorado Judicial Branch’s Courts in the Community, the outreach program the Colorado Supreme Court and Court of Appeals initiated on Law Day (May 1), 1986. The Courts in the Community program was developed to give Colorado high school students firsthand experience in how the Colorado judicial system works and illustrate how disputes are resolved in a democratic society. These are not mock proceedings. The court will hear arguments in actual cases from which it will issue opinions. The court generally issues opinions within a few months of the arguments.

All seven justices hear cases together. They are Chief Justice Nancy E. Rice and Justices Nathan B. Coats, Allison H. Eid, Monica M. Márquez, Brian D. Boatright, William W. Hood III and Richard L. Gabriel.

The cases are:

  • 15SC136, People of the State of Colorado v. Gregory K. Hoskin: The Colorado Supreme Court agreed to review whether a District Court properly reversed a county court’s conviction of Gregory Hoskin for speeding. A state trooper had clocked Mr. Hoskin driving at 78 mph in a 60-mph zone in Mesa County in 2014. Mr. Hoskin argued that under Colorado law, prosecutors had to prove his speed was not “reasonable and prudent.” He testified that his speed was reasonable and prudent because he was driving below 75 mph (the only “hard” speed limit listed in Colorado statutes) and that road and weather conditions were good and traffic was light, but the county court rejected his argument. On appeal, the district court found that the county court impermissibly shifted the burden of proof from prosecutors to Mr. Hoskin when it required him to prove his speed was reasonable and prudent. Prosecutors asked the Supreme Court to review both whether the burden of proof was improperly shifted to Mr. Hoskin and whether there was sufficient evidence to convict him in the county court.

 

  • 14SC94, People of the State of Colorado v. Curtis Gordon Adams: Curtis Adams was convicted of assaulting a prison guard while serving time for a felony in a different case. Prosecutors sought a sentence in the aggravated range (at least the midpoint but not more than twice the presumptive range). The trial court imposed an aggravated-range sentence, and ordered that it run consecutive to Mr. Adams’ previous sentence under a statute requiring consecutive sentencing for assault on a detention officer. On appeal, the Colorado Court of Appeals concluded that the aggravated-sentencing statute does not apply to the crime of second-degree assault on a detention officer and ordered a new sentencing hearing. Prosecutors appealed, and the Colorado Supreme Court agreed to review the case.

 

Proceedings will begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in the auditorium at Chatfield High School, 7227 S. Simms St., Littleton, CO 80127. A question-and-answer session, during which the students may ask questions of the attorneys, will follow the argument in each case. To conclude the program, the students also will have the opportunity to participate in a question-and-answer session with the Supreme Court justices.

There will be a limited number of seats for the public. Audio recordings from the argument will be available online within one to two days of the argument at http://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Supreme_Court/Oral_Arguments/Index.cfm.

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