POSTED BY SEAN PAIGE 3415PC ON MAY 05, 2018 ·
DENVER – Many Coloradans undoubtedly were shocked and angered last summer when a serial child molester facing 324-years behind bars was set free by an appellate court on a legal technicality. But rather than just brood about the travesty of justice, Senators Ray Scott (R-Grand Junction) and Bob Gardner (R-Colorado Springs) set to work on a bill, moving through the legislature now, that will prevent future injustices by closing the legal loophole that set the molester free.
Their bill, SB-258, would prevent defendants from claiming that their rights to a speedy trial were violated, as the convicted child molester Michael McFadden did, if a presiding judge orders a delay in court action that is intended to protect a defendant’s rights. That’s in response to last summer’s decision by the Court of Appeals to overturn McFadden’s conviction because the judge who heard his original case had granted a”continuance,” or a delay in the trial, in order to protect the molester’s constitutional rights.
“A defendant shouldn’t be able to successfully appeal a case, on the grounds that he didn’t get a speedy trial, if he sought to delay those proceedings for various reasons, or if the presiding judge ordered a delay or delays to ensure that the defendant got a fair trial,” argued Gardner, who is an attorney.”That’s not justice, but injustice, of the kind we unfortunately saw in the McFadden case.”
Scott added that he just wanted the loophole closed”so that the victims of these crimes and their families can rest assured that the travesty of justice we saw in the McFadden case never is repeated again.”
SB-258 passed the Senate Friday on third and final reading and now moves to the House for action, with less than a week remaining in the session.