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CO 5th Judicial District Attorney

The District Attorney is responsible for prosecuting all state criminal offenses occurring in their district. These include cases brought by the municipal police departments, sheriffs’ departments and any college police departments, and state and federal law enforcement agencies.ELECTION INFO: General Election ballots will start to be mailed on October 9th, 2020. Voter Service and Polling Centers open on Monday, October 19th, 2020. Ballots must be received via mail or at drop-off no later than Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020, by 7 pm. If you have not received your ballot or need a replacement, contact your local Clerk & Recorder Elections Office____________Abogado de Distrito de ColoradoEl/la Fiscal de Distrito y es responsable de procesar todos los delitos del estado cometidos en su distrito. Estos incluyen casos presentados por los departamentos de la policía municipal, los departamentos de alguacil, y cualquier departamento de policías de sectores universitarios, y agencias estatales y federales de fuerzas del orden público. INFROMACIÓN SOBRE LAS ELECCIONES: Las papeletas de votación para las Elecciones Generales empezarán a ser enviadas el 9 de octubre del 2020. Los Centros de Servicios Electorales se abren el lunes, 19 de octubre del 2020. Las papeletas electorales deben ser enviadas por correo o entregadas en un centro de entrega a más tardar a las 7pm el martes, 3 de noviembre del 2020. Si no ha recibido su papeleta electoral o necesita un reemplazo, comuníquese con su Funcionario Oficial de la Oficina de Elecciones local

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    Heidi McCollum

Biographical Information

How would you address racial injustice within your district?

Are you in favor of bail reforms that have been practiced recently that allow the release of prisoners prior to their trial date versus many detainees being held awaiting the outcome of their case? Please explain.

Are you in favor of reforming sex offender felony sentencing from the current indeterminate sentencing to determinate sentencing? Please explain. (Current law allows for indeterminate sentencing which conceivably imposes being held for the remainder of their life depending on a number of factors. The change to determinate sentencing would impose a definite end date.)

How should the District Attorney’s office handle the current backlog of cases going forward? What concerns do you have about handling the backlog and its effect on outcomes?

Background B.A. Political Science - Mesa State College (n/k/a Colorado Mesa University) '92 J.D. - Chapman University, '99, Orange County, CA Intern - 5th JD, '00 Private Practice '01-'06, '11-'12 Business Owner 2006-2011 Prosecutor District Attorney's Office 5th JD, 13 - present
Contact phone 970-319-0269
Twitter @ForMccollum
Candidate has not yet responded.
I fully support defendants being able to have reasonable bond amounts set in their cases, unless someone is a danger to the community, or they have a history of violating court orders while on bond. What we've seen during the COVID-19 pandemic is an increase in personal recognizance bonds being set. This means that a defendant doesn't have to pay any money to get out of jail; however if they don't show up to any scheduled court hearing during the pendency of their case, the court will issue a warrant for their arrest and they will have to then pay a bond to get released. We have worked with the jails in our district to drastically reduce the number of inmates over the past four months. This allows defendants with open cases to continue to work rather than sit in jail. For the vast majority of defendants in our district, PR bonds or very low monetary bonds allowed to be posted by a bail bondsman are completely appropriate and should continue to be set by our courts.
Sex offenses are some of the most serious cases that prosecutors handle. They can be the most difficult to prove because they are often not reported contemporaneously with the act(s), but rather after time has passed, sometimes years or decades later. Delayed reporting is not uncommon and is in part a product of the tremendous emotional trauma suffered by sex assault victims. This trauma manifests itself in feelings of guilt, shame and self blame for what victims endured and it can last a lifetime. I am not in favor of eliminating indeterminate sentences, as they provide safety for the victims and continued safety for our communities. Additionally, determinate sentencing has serious challenges in Colorado. With earned time credit and good time credit for inmates, a ten year Department of Correction sentence can easily be reduced by more than half. For an offender to be sentenced to ten years and only serve three to four years, doesn't serve justice to victims.
Currently, the District Attorney's Office is handling all aspects of criminal matters including jury trials. Despite a nearly four month hiatus from jury trials, we are now able to move forward. Meaning all bond hearings, evidentiary hearings, plea hearings, trials, and sentencing hearings are still occurring. With months of trial being extended, there is a que of both county and district court trials set. In the past month, we have completed both six and twelve person trials in the 5th JD, and we will continue to move forward in trying cases and giving a voice to victims whose justice has been delayed.