• House Bill 20-1026, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Van Winkle, R-Highlands Ranch, Rep. Michael Weissman, D-Aurora, Sen. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora and Sen. Bob Gardner, R-Colorado Springs would split off Arapahoe County to ease the caseload on the 18th Judicial District, provide more fair representation in judicial proceedings for residents of the other counties, and relieve some of the tax burden caused by a disproportionate number of prosecutions coming from Arapahoe County.

    Eighteenth Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler supports the split. “It’s not just the number of felonies, it’s the quality of the felonies,” Brauchler told the Committee. “Our jurisdiction took to trial 24 first-degree murder cases last year. That’s an appalling number of murders, but it’s a reality. Three or four came out of Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln.”

    Brauchler pointed out that the cost of expensive murder trials is shared by all the counties in the district, meaning the taxpayers of the other three counties pay a disproportionate share of those costs for crimes not originating in their counties.

    Brauchler said Douglas County population has exploded, and Elbert County is projected to be the fastest growing county through 2050. He also said that Douglas comprises one-third of the district’s population while Arapahoe contributes two-thirds of the crime.

    Arapahoe County Commissioner Nancy Sharp supported the split.

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    Posted by Dana West @ 6:22 pm for Colorado politics, Denver area politics, Issues, Legal Issues |

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