Competency/ Insanity


A person cannot be tried, convicted, sentenced or punished for an offense if the court determines that the person is incompetent to stand trial. Co. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-8-102

Procedure for competency evaluations and determinations by court.  Co. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-8-105


Sanity is presumed, but once the defendant has introduced any evidence of insanity, the burden is on the state to prove sanity.  Co. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-8-103-103.5

Special Rules

Testimony: If a witness has I/DD their testimony may be taken in another room and broadcast via television. Co. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16-10-402

Hearsay: In sex crime cases, an out of court statement by a victim with I/DD  (which is otherwise inadmissible hearsay) if the statement describes the offense and meets certain additional requirements (it is found to be reliable, the witness has been cross examined previously or testifies) – special jury instruction to weigh statement. Co. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13-25-129.5


A higher sentence may be given if the defendant knew or should have known that the victim was vulnerable due to age, disability, ill health, etc. (hate crime statute includes disability). Co. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 18-9-121

Death Penalty

A person sentenced to death is presumed to be competent to be executed – the party trying to show incompetence to be executed must do so with clear and convincing evidence. Co. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 18-1.3-1402


Administrative segregation/ Solitary: Correctional institutions must report to the Colorado Judiciary Committee the status of administrative segregation; reclassification efforts for offenders with mental illnesses or developmental disabilities, including duration of stay, reason for placement, and number and percentage discharged. Co. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17-1-113.9

Parole: A special needs offender may get paroled before or after the offender’s parole eligibility date if: (a) The state board of parole determines, based on the special needs offender's condition and a medical evaluation, that he or she does not constitute a threat to public safety and is not likely to commit an offense; and (b) The state board of parole approves a special needs parole plan that ensures appropriate supervision of and continuity of medical care for the special needs offender. Co. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17-22.5-403.5