The Colorado Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two cases on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, at Arapahoe High School in Centennial before an audience of students. The public also is invited to attend.
The proceedings will begin at 8:45 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in the auditorium at Arapahoe High School, 2201 E. Dry Creek Rd., Centennial, CO 80122. A question-and-answer session, during which the students may ask questions of the attorneys, will follow the arguments in each case. At the conclusion of the second argument, 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 two arguments will be available online within one to two days of the arguments at http://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Supreme_Court/Oral_Arguments/Index.cfm.
Additional information on the Courts in the Community program is available at: http://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Education/Community.cfm
The two cases are both criminal cases (and so the resulting opinions will not be covered here).
12SC235: People of the State of Colorado v. Joddy Carbajal – Joddy Carbajal, who had been convicted of a felony in a previous case, was charged with three counts of possession of a weapon by a previous offender after police investigating a murder executed a search warrant at his home and found three handguns. During trial, the defense admitted Mr. Carbajal knowingly possessed the guns, but he testified he kept them to protect himself and his property. In his testimony, he said he had been threatened and later attacked in his home, and moved to a new home where he installed a security system. The trial court’s instructions to the jury said it was an affirmative defense to the possession charge if a person possesses a firearm for defense of himself, home or property from what he reasonably believed to be a threat of imminent harm. The defense objected because the typical instruction for this type of weapon-possession case does not include the element of belief of a threat of imminent harm. The trial court overruled the objection, and the jury convicted Mr. Carbajal of two of the three counts. On appeal, a Colorado Court of Appeals division unanimously concluded the “threat of imminent harm” language should not have been included in the jury instructions and ordered a new trial. Prosecutors appealed, and the Supreme Court agreed to review the case.
12SC219: Ricky Cuong Hoang v. People of the State of Colorado – Ricky Hoang was one of several men convicted of charges stemming from an armed robbery in Jefferson County. He was sentenced to 180 years in prison. The Colorado Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction, and the Supreme Court agreed to review whether Mr. Hoang’s right to a meaningful and speedy appeal was violated due to problems with the record from his trial; and whether the trial court abused its discretion by requiring him to wear leg shackles during the trial. It took nearly four years from the time Mr. Hoang filed his appeal with the Court of Appeals for the court reporter and trial court to reconstruct the record, which was missing some trial exhibits and which contained an incomplete and inaccurate transcript. About two years after the corrected transcript and record were filed with the Court of Appeals, a division of that court rejected Mr. Hoang’s claims of prejudice due to the delay and prejudice due to the leg shackles.
The documents related to these two cases are located at: http://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Education/Materials.cfm?s=Fall&y=2013