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Overview of Capital Punishment Under State and Federal Law

Courts & Judicial
Crimes, Corrections, & Enforcement

This memorandum provides information concerning the use of capital punishment in Colorado and across the country.  The memorandum provides a brief history of Colorado’s death penalty scheme and information on recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions concerning the constitutionality of the death penalty.  It also explains the current death penalty scheme in Colorado, including procedures used in sentencing and required review by trial courts and the Colorado Supreme Court.  Lastly, this memorandum provides an overview of capital punishment in other states and federal death penalty laws.

Email addresses for the Colorado legislature have changed from the domain to the domain on December 1, 2022. Details
The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause (unless otherwise specified) is August 7, 2023. Details
The 2023 Ballot Information Booklet (Blue Book) is now available. Details