(March 22) – A bill by Rep. Jovan Melton, D-Aurora, to give judges greater discretion when imposing consecutive sentences for certain crimes earned final approval from the House on a 43-20 vote this morning. SB16-051 removes the requirement that a person convicted of two or more separate, specified crimes of violence arising out of the same incident be sentenced to serve prison terms consecutively rather than concurrently.

“This bill gives our courts more discretion determining the sentences for certain offenses,” said Rep. Melton. “This does not get rid of consecutive sentences—it simply gives judges the discretion to impose a punishment that fits the crime. This discretion will help prevent situations where a person who is charged with multiple counts from one instance ends up serving more time than a person who commits multiple crimes.”

The bill passed out of the Senate 33-2. The 43-20 House vote sends the bill to the governor’s desk.

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