Gardner Bill to Protect and Support Victims of Crime Gets Initial Ok

Denver—Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved Senator Bob Gardner's (R-El Paso County) bill to update and strengthen the Victims' Rights Act (VRA) on a unanimous vote go 5-0. 

The bill, Senate Bill 51, updates provisions of Colorado's Victims' Rights Act to reflect the changing landscape of the criminal justice system in Colorado over the 25 years since the VRA was first enacted in 1992. 

SB 17-051 expands the VRA to protect the victims of three existing crimes: failure to stop at the scene of a crime, violation of a protection order, and maliciously posting a private image. 

The bill grants victims the right to be informed of the results of their offender's probation or parole hearing, or the governor's decision to commute or pardon the sentence of their offender. It also expands the rights of a victim to be heard at court hearings.

"Criminal defendant's rights are always evolving, but after 25 years of the Victim's Rights Act, this measure is overdue for an update," said Gardner "Colorado's most vulnerable populations need a champion to ensure their right's are protected, and this updated VRA will continue to stand strong for those who, in their darkest moments, need our help the most."

Senate Bill 51 now moves on to a vote of the committee on State, Veterans, and Military Affairs.  

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