Lady2Soothe Follow @OurVoicesEcho
CONCERNING THE PENALTY FOR A PERSON WHO ESCAPES FROM A PLACE OF CONFINEMENT OTHER THAN A COUNTY JAIL OR CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
Escape from a Colorado State Dept. of Correction facility or halfway house CANNOT be used to extend a sentence.
Details on Colorado House bill HB 12-1213, introduced Jan. 30 2012 and last acted on May 17, 2012. When this bill was signed by Governor Hickenlooper it rendered such an adjudication inapplicable to a person who is convicted of escape or attempt to escape from a place *other* than a county jail or a correctional facility.
My name is Harold Smith
I was convicted of aggravated robbery and habitual criminal in June 1998. Aggravated robbery is a Class 3 felony which carries a maximum sentence of 16 years in prison. However, I had 2 Class 5 non-violent prior felony convictions. The first was possession of a dangerous weapon which I was sentenced to 2 ½ years in the Colorado Department of Corrections in 1993. I was allowed to go to the half-way house in May 1994. I walked away (escape) in September of that year. I was charged with, and convicted of escape, and sentenced to one (1) year DOC and one (1) year parole. This was the second felony used to adjudicate me a habitual criminal. I was on parole for the first escape when I caught the aggravated robbery January 26, 1998 which makes me ineligible for executive clemency. The punishment for aggravated robbery is 16 years was multiplied by 3 which extended my sentence to 48 years. Those are the facts of my case.
In 2012 Colorado Representative Rhonda Fields sponsored House Bill 12-1213 (hereinafter referred to as HB 12-1213) which states “AN ESCAPE SHALL NOT BE USED TO ADJUDICATE A PERSON HABITUAL CRIMINAL”. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed HB 12-1213 into law May 17, 2012, however it is not retroactive. I am still in prison due to a law which is no longer relevant or applicable in cases such as mine. In other words I have completely served my time plus additional time for the crimes I’ve committed, which would have subsequently allowed me to be the free and the socially productive man I’ve evolved into today.
I have been lobbying Congress for four (4) years in an attempt to have this law sanctioned as retroactive. I’ve been in contact with State Representative Jovan Melton who assured me he was 90% positive retroactivity would be enacted by legislature as expressed in a formal document by the beginning of April 2016.
Unfortunately the Retroactive Amendment of HB 12-1213 did not materialize as State Representative Jovan Melton expected as he was unable to secure endorsement by Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives Dickey Lee Hullinghorst who refused to even consider the proposed new bill during an election year.
Ironically, the passage of the Amended HB 12-1213 Bill for retroactive application would only affect myself and 5 other people. Only 6 people would be released immediately from the Colorado Department of Corrections statewide.
Representative Jovan Melton has assured me the newly Amended HB 12-1213 Bill will be one of the first five (5) bills introduced to the upcoming January 2017 session and maintains he does not have to submit the bill to the Speaker of the House providing it is one of the first 5 bills proposed. Rep. Melton is convinced Amended HB 12-1213 will pass the House and Senate and signed into law.
Meanwhile as we await the Jan. 2017 session, Rep. Melton suggested I compose a letter to Governor Hickenlooper, addressing it directly to Rep. Melton at his office which he would personally hand deliver to Governor Hickenlooper, which I did in April. I was to explain the circumstances of my incarceration which has been extended three fold past my conviction sentencing. I was to remind the Governor he signed HB 12-1213 “an escape shall not be used to adjudicate a person habitual criminal” into law and as the Governor undoubtedly believed people such as myself are not habitual criminals. It was also recommended I ask the Governor to review the injustice of over-sentencing, over-criminalization, sentencing reform, prison and reentry reform which at this point is unnecessarily harsh and contributes to prison overcrowding while ballooning the state prison budget, and rectify this injustice by commuting my sentence to the original 16 years as time served.
I have family and friends out in the real world who love, respect and are proud of me but it’s not enough to push though the governmental red tape. If you or anyone you know can help I would truly appreciate any and all input, or even a friendly letter of support.
Many thanks and blessings for taking the time to read my message
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION You can reach Harold at:
Harold L. Smith
DOC #: 81050
Buena Vista Minimum Center
PO Box 2005
Buena Vista, CO 81211
PLEASE CLICK HERE to sign my Change.Org Petition so we may forward it to Governor Hickenlooper, our only option for Executive Clemency as he is the one who signed Amendment to HB 12-1213 into law. Change.Org Petition: Colorado Amended HB 12-1213 Retroactive Application Immediate Release for Harold Smith
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper
136 State Capitol Bldg.
Denver, CO 80203-1792
Representative Jovan Melton
200 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80203
Michael Bennet (D) Senior Senator
Denver Metro Office
1127 Sherman St., Suite 150
Denver, CO 80203
Toll Free: 866-455-9866
Cory Gardner (R) Junior Senator
1125 17th Street, Suite 525
Denver, CO 80202
P: (303) 391-5777
F: (202) 228-7171
Diana DeGette (D) House Rep. District 1
600 Grant Street, Suite 202,
Jared Polis (D) House Rep. District 2
1644 Walnut St.
Boulder, CO 80302
Phone: (303) 484-9596
Fax: (303) 568-9007
Senator Mark Udall
20510 Westminster, CO 80031
Michael Bennet (D) Senior Senator – 127 Sherman St #150, Denver, CO 80203
Scott Tipton (R) House Rep. District 3 – 225 North 5th Street, Suite 702, Grand Junction, CO 81501
Ken Buck (R) House Rep. District 4 – 7505 Village Square Dr. Suite 207, Castle Pines, CO 80108
Doug Lamborn (R) House Rep. District 5 – 1271 Kelly Johnson Boulevard, Suite 110 Colorado Springs, CO 80920
Mike Coffman (R) House Rep. District 6 – Cherry Creek Place IV; Suite 305 3300 S. Parker Road Aurora, CO 80014
Ed Perlmutter (R) House Rep. District 7 – 12600 West Colfax Avenue, Suite B400, Lakewood, CO 80215