Denver Direct: Your Rights (Colorado Constitution)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Your Rights (Colorado Constitution)

In order to assert our rights, acknowledge our duties, and proclaim the principles upon which our government is founded, we declare:

           Section 15. Taking property for public use – compensation, how ascertained. Private property shall not be taken or damaged, for public or private use, without just compensation. Such compensation shall be ascertained by a board of commissioners, of not less than three freeholders, or by a jury, when required by the owner of the property, in such manner as may be prescribed by law, and until the same shall be paid to the owner, or into court for the owner, the property shall not be needlessly disturbed, or the proprietary rights of the owner therein divested; and whenever an attempt is made to take private property for a use alleged to be public, the question whether the contemplated use be really public shall be a judicial question, and determined as such without regard to any legislative assertion that the use is public.

           Section 17. Imprisonment of witnesses – depositions – form. No person shall be imprisoned for the purpose of securing his testimony in any case longer than may be necessary in order to take his deposition. If he can give security he shall be discharged; if he cannot give security his deposition shall be taken by some judge of the supreme, district or county court, at the earliest time he can attend, at some convenient place by him appointed for that purpose, of which time and place the accused and the attorney prosecuting for the people shall have reasonable notice. The accused shall have the right to appear in person and by counsel. If he has no counsel, the judge shall assign him one in his behalf only. On the completion of such examination the witness shall be discharged on his own recognizance, entered into before said judge, but such deposition shall not be used if in the opinion of the court the personal attendance of the witness might be procured by the prosecution, or is procured by the accused. No exception shall be taken to such deposition as to matters of form.

           (a) For capital offenses when proof is evident or presumption is great; or
           (b) When, after a hearing held within ninety-six hours of arrest and upon reasonable notice, the court finds that proof is evident or presumption is great as to the crime alleged to have been committed and finds that the public would be placed in significant peril if the accused were released on bail and such person is accused in any of the following cases:
           (I) A crime of violence, as may be defined by the general assembly, alleged to have been committed while on probation or parole resulting from the conviction of a crime of violence;
           (II) A crime of violence, as may be defined by the general assembly, alleged to have been committed while on bail pending the disposition of a previous crime of violence charge for which probable cause has been found;
           (III) A crime of violence, as may be defined by the general assembly, alleged to have been committed after two previous felony convictions, or one such previous felony conviction if such conviction was for a crime of violence, upon charges separately brought and tried under the laws of this state or under the laws of any other state, the United States, or any territory subject to the jurisdiction of the United States which, if committed in this state, would be a felony; or
           (c) (Deleted by amendment, L. 94, p. 2853, effective upon proclamation of the Governor, L. 95, p. 1434, January 1, 1995.)
           (2) Except in the case of a capital offense, if a person is denied bail under this section, the trial of the person shall be commenced not more than ninety days after the date on which bail is denied. If the trial is not commenced within ninety days and the delay is not attributable to the defense, the court shall immediately schedule a bail hearing and shall set the amount of the bail for the person.
           (2.5) (a) The court may grant bail after a person is convicted, pending sentencing or appeal, only as provided by statute as enacted by the general assembly; except that no bail is allowed for persons convicted of:
           (I) Murder;
           (II) Any felony sexual assault involving the use of a deadly weapon;
           (III) Any felony sexual assault committed against a child who is under fifteen years of age;
           (IV) A crime of violence, as defined by statute enacted by the general assembly; or
           (V) Any felony during the commission of which the person used a firearm.
           (b) The court shall not set bail that is otherwise allowed pursuant to this subsection (2.5) unless the court finds that:
           (I) The person is unlikely to flee and does not pose a danger to the safety of any person or the community; and
           (II) The appeal is not frivolous or is not pursued for the purpose of delay.
           (3) This section shall take effect January 1, 1995, and shall apply to offenses committed on or after said date.

           (a) The question of annexation has been submitted to the vote of the landowners and the registered electors in the area proposed to be annexed, and the majority of such persons voting on the question have voted for the annexation; or
           (b) The annexing municipality has received a petition for the annexation of such area signed by persons comprising more than fifty percent of the landowners in the area and owning more than fifty percent of the area, excluding public streets, and alleys and any land owned by the annexing municipality; or
           (c) The area is entirely surrounded by or is solely owned by the annexing municipality.
           (2) The provisions of this section shall not apply to annexations to the city and county of Denver, to the extent that such annexations are governed by other provisions of the constitution.
           (3) The general assembly may provide by law for procedures necessary to implement this section. This section shall take effect upon completion of the canvass of votes taken thereon.

           This section is self executing; however, the General Assembly may enact laws to implement this section.