Colorado Legislative Council Staff
NO FISCAL IMPACT
January 4, 1998
Susan Colling (866-4784)
TITLE: CONCERNING ADDITION OF THE COMMISSION OF ETHNIC INTIMIDATION AS AN AGGRAVATING FACTOR FOR PURPOSES OF SENTENCING IN CLASS 1 FELONIES.
Summary of Legislation
This bill adds the offense of ethnic intimidation which resulted in a victim’s death to the list of aggravating factors that judges may consider when imposing a death sentence in a class 1 felony.
The bill would become effective at 12:01 a.m. on the day following the ninety-day period after adjournment sine die of the General Assembly, or on the date of the official declaration of the vote of the people as proclaimed by the Governor, if a referendum petition is filed pursuant to Article V, Section 1 (3) of the State Constitution.
The bill is assessed as having no fiscal impact. Under current law, Section 18-1-105, C.R.S., any person convicted of a class 1 felony shall be punished by life imprisonment, unless a panel of judges imposes a death sentence pursuant to the procedure set forth in Section 16-11-103, C.R.S. A death sentence may only be imposed if at least one aggravating factor has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. This bill would have an impact on the number of defendant’s who may be considered to receive a death sentence.
The Department of Corrections (DOC) received 28 new offenders in FY 1996-97 who were sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. The DOC reviewed these cases and determined that circumstances of the case did not involve ethnic intimidation, and therefore, under this bill, these offenders would not have been considered to receive a death sentence. Since 1989, five offenders have received death sentences and one has been executed. Therefore, the bill has no fiscal impact.
Department of Corrections
Department of Law