The Criminal Justice Section prosecutes a variety of crimes impacting Colorado and its citizens, and is the controlling body for Peace Officer certification.
The single largest component of the Criminal Justice Section is the appellate division which is statutorily charged with handling all of the criminal appeals in the state on behalf of the people of Colorado. Other units within the Criminal Justice Section have statutory authority to prosecute certain types of crime throughout the state including securities fraud, insurance fraud, Medicaid fraud, and some environmental crimes. These cases are initiated either through direct filings in the appropriate jurisdiction or through use of the statewide Grand Jury.
The Special Prosecution Unit of this section assists local prosecutors and law enforcement agencies throughout the state on matters that occur in more than one jurisdiction, including presenting cases to the statewide Grand Jury and serving as special district attorneys as requested. This unit also provides special assistance to district attorneys in active and cold case homicide investigations as well as other violent felony cases.
The Criminal Justice Section also has a highly specialized Foreign Prosecution Unit that assists in either the extradition of foreign nationals from Mexico who have committed crimes in Colorado or the utilization of the Article IV treaty provisions with Mexico that provide a mechanism for the prosecution of these same defendants within Mexico as an alternative to extradition.
The Colorado Justice Review Project examines cases of inmates incarcerated on violent crimes to determine whether DNA testing would establish actual innocence for the inmate. The project, funded by a grant from the National Institute of Justice, began in 2010 and had its first exoneration in April of 2012 in Mesa County when Robert Dewey was released from custody after nearly 18 years of incarceration.
Other components include the Peace Officer Standards and Training Board (POST), Department of Public Safety Unit and the Victim Assistance Program.
The Criminal Justice Section is made up of one Division and nine units: