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Resentence Credit May Be Used to Reduce Period of Mandatory Parole, Colorado Supreme Court Decides

By Brandon Sample

Presentence confinement credit (PSCC) unapplied during incarceration may be used to reduce an offender’s period of mandatory parole, the Supreme Court of Colorado decided December 3, 2008.

Joseph Edwards was awarded 19 days of PSCC after being sentenced to ten years in prison for an aggravated robbery and conspiracy conviction. Years after being sentenced, Edwards filed a Crim. P. 36 motion seeking 29 additional days at PSCC. The trial court denied Edwards’s motion. Edwards appealed.

During the pendency of Edwards’s appeal, Edwards was released from prison onto mandatory parole. The appeals court dismissed Edwards’s appeal as moot, holding that Edwards was no longer eligible to receive PSCC because PSCC could only be used to reduce a prisoner’s “sentence.” According to the appeals court, “sentence” meant confinement in prison, precluding application of PSCC to Edwards’s mandatory parole.

The Supreme Court of Colorado granted Certiorari and reversed. “An offender who has earned PSCC is entitled to have that credit deducted from his mandatory parole,” the court wrote. “Contrary to the court of appeals’ conclusion, the term ‘sentence’ as used in the PSCC statute…refers to the mandatory parole portion of a defendant’s sentence, as well as the confinement portion of that sentence.”

See: Edwards v. The People of the United State of Colorado, 2008 Colo. LEXIS 1719.

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Related legal case

Edwards v. The People of the United State of Colorado