Colorado is unique in how it deals with grand jury cases. The Sixth Amendment requirement that criminal cases begin with a grand jury indictment does not apply to the states. Colorado, like many other states, does not require criminal prosecutions to begin with a grand jury indictment at all. Rather, most cases are brought by prosecutors in the form of a complaint and information giving the prosecutor complete discretion about what charges to bring. Many complex cases in Colorado nonetheless begin with a grand jury indictment. This is because prosecutors point to the grand jury process and say that it protects against frivolous prosecutions. However, as we will see, the grand jury route may give the prosecutor more discretion to bring charges that arguably are not supported by probable cause.Read more
In this blog series we discuss the roots of the grand jury system and its importance in criminal law in Colorado. In this post we talk about what a grand jury does and next time we will look at what protections an accused has with respect to grand jury investigations under Colorado law.Read more
In a previous blog series, we looked at how prosecutors in Colorado use the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act (COCCA) to pile charges and penalties onto members of the recreational marijuana industry. Today we discuss how prosecutors use white collar criminal charges such as securities fraud to establish their COCCA predicate offenses.Read more
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