Thursday, April 29, 2021

Felony murder no longer life without parole in Colorado

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed into law a bill that reforms Colorado's felony murder statute, reported The Denver Post.

Under the prior law, there were six felony crimes that could have lead to a felony murder: burglary, robbery, arson, kidnapping, escape and sexual assault.

Felony murder carries an automatic sentence of life in prison without parole. That penalty could be imposed even if the person who was convicted did not directly kill another person.

"That person could merely be a person who was the driver of a car who didn’t even know his partner, his associate was going to go in and commit a murder," said Senator Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs, one of the sponsors.

Under the new law, the sentence would be 16 to 48 years in prison. The measure is not retroactive, and Lee said it would not apply to cases that have already been through the judicial system.

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