Bill to reinstate no bond for defendants accused of first-degree murder passes in Colorado House

The Colorado House of Representatives passed HB24-1225 and HCR-1002 in a vote of 59-5 on Monday morning.
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Posted at 1:24 PM, Mar 04, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-05 15:11:55-05

DENVER — A bill that would make first-degree murder a non-bailable offense in Colorado cleared a hurdle on Monday morning inside the Colorado State Capitol.

House Bill 24-1225, titled First Degree Murder Bail & Jury Selection Statute — as well as House Concurrent Resolution 24-1002, or HCR24-1002 — passed in the Colorado House of Representatives by a vote of 59-5 on Monday morning.

Currently, any Colorado defendant charged with first-degree murder has the right to bail due to the People v. Smith decision from June 2023, in which the Colorado Supreme Court unanimously ruled that because the state had abolished the death penalty, any person charged with first-degree murder after July 1, 2020 must have the right to bail.

HB24-1225 has bipartisan support and reads that while everybody has the right to bail, there are certain exceptions for people charged with capital offenses (while there are no capital cases in Colorado due to the repeal of the death penalty, this language still exists in statutes). This bill, introduced on Feb. 8, aims to add first-degree murder when proof is evident or presumption is great to the list of exceptions.

HCR24-1002 would refer a ballot measure to voters in November 2024 to amend the Constitution and reinstate the option for defendants to be held without bond if they are charged with first-degree murder and there is significant evidence to prove such.

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Bill introduced in Colorado House would reinstate no bail for murder suspects

Stephanie Butzer
6:08 PM, Feb 21, 2024

Both HB24-1225 and HCR24-1002 passed in the judiciary hearing on Feb. 21 by an 8-2 vote.

On Monday morning, 59 people voted in favor, with five voting against the bill.

The bill will now proceed to the Colorado Senate.

If it is ultimately approved, the decision to make first-degree a non-bailable offense will land in the lap of voters this November.

Bill introduced in Colorado House would reinstate no bail for murder suspects

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