Colorado Juvenile Equal Protection Act: Should terms be lowered for 48 lifers busted as juvies?

Categories: News

claire levy photo cropped.jpg
Claire Levy.
Although Representative Claire Levy has gotten plenty of attention for her sponsorship of THC driving limits, and her change of heart over the best possible standard, she's equally passionate about the Colorado Juvenile Equal Protection Act, which is slated to go before the judiciary committee today. It, too, could stir controversy, since it would reduce the sentences of 48 killers convicted or murder as juvies.

The subject of youthful slayers is much in the news these days due to the Burlington twelve-year-old accused of killing parents Charles and Marilyn Long and seriously wounding two younger siblings. No decision has been made thus far to try the boy as an adult, but there's still a chance he could become the youngest person in Colorado history so prosecuted for murder.

Thumbnail image for burlington family photo.JPG
The late Charles and Marilyn Long with the rest of their family.
According to Levy, the Colorado Juvenile Equal Protection Act, officially known as HB 1287 (read it below), would allow juveniles sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole to be eligible for this process after serving forty years. In addition, juveniles sentenced to terms of similar length, but with parole as an option, could be considered for transition into community corrections programs after serving twenty calendar years if they're within ten years of their parole eligibility date.

The reason the legislation is necessary, Levy believes, is because "Colorado changed its law in 2006 to eliminate life without parole for juveniles -- but 48 kids had already been sentenced to life without parole. This would make the law retroactive, and would remove the disparity in consequences for the same crime."

In her view, "it's a question of fairness, and a question of having our laws reflect what our society thinks is appropriate for juvenile offenders."

Regarding the Burlington case, Levy notes that "a twelve-year-old can't be charged as an adult without a transfer hearing and a judge deciding that's appropriate. Now, in the past, I've worked on allowing judges to make these decisions rather than giving all that power to prosecutors unilaterally. But it's important to note that if this child were prosecuted as an adult and convicted of first-degree murder, even though he potentially killed both of his parents and badly wounded two of his siblings, he would not serve life without parole. He would be eligible for parole after forty years" because of the 2006 law.

Page down to read the Colorado Juvenile Equal Protection Act.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

Many state's life sentences can be fulfilled between 15-20 years of incarceration . Colorado being mistakenly recognized as a 'liberal' state has one of the STRICTEST judicial systems in the country. 'Parole Eligibility' means next to NOTHING ! Less than %2 receive parole the first time eligible .  No, they on average do upwards of %80 of their sentence before they are 'paroled'. 

Parole Eligibility Date, ( P.E.D. ) & Mandatory Release Date, ( M.R.D. ) are almost ALWAYS confused by the general public . Colorado has what's called 'Mandatory Parole' which is ADDED to the sentence BY THE JUDGE ! Take for instance a 4 year sentence w/ 4 yrs mandatory parole . Once the prisoner has served the average of 38-40 months to satisfy the four year SENTENCE , they must begin the 2nd phase of the  called 'mandatory parole' which begins IMMEDIATELY following the completion of the original four year sentence . Colorado is very unique in this form of sentencing and MANY  class action lawsuits are pending what MANY believe to be illegal, double jeopardy sentencing . More than a handful of states have addressed and corrected this form of illegal sentencing and now apply parole w/i the sentence & NOT OUTSIDE OF, which Colorado ARROGANTLY continues to do UNTIL a time where they are forced by the upper courts to comply .

I personally believe 20 yrs should be the MAX for a juvenile . Depending HOW the inmate utilizes their time would depend on the transformation from institutionalism to a productive member of society .  I've worked w/ men fresh out & w/o help , the offender is heading back to serve a PAROLE SENTENCE !

Due to Colorado's 'Mandatory Parole' , we PROUDLY have the highest, (by a large margin) recitivism rate in the country . Tax dollars WASTED w/o reaction, brought on by fear & PURPOSELY misleading the public !


Moron Morrissey says it cannot be done -- I say we can do without Morrissey.

Boulder Med Cannabis
Boulder Med Cannabis


"Inmates in prison for non-violent crimes grew from 52.7 percent of the inmatepopulation on June 30, 1996 to 57.9 percent of the population on June 30, 2006"

how about we move all non-violent offenders out of the prison system, first?


Ms. Levy has really lost her way.


So she wants to lower the penalties for guilty 'kids' while criminalizing those who are following state law using medical marijuana?

Only a wanna-be politician would think like that.

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault