Colorado criminal cases remain hidden despite assurances to make them public

The Denver Post: Despite assurances from prosecutors to unseal dozens of criminal cases hidden from public view over the past five years, several remain inaccessible largely because the judges overseeing them have not acted on those requests.

Since a Denver Post investigation in July revealed that thousands of criminal and civil cases across the state have been suppressed since 2013 — at least 66 of them felonies for which the defendant was charged, convicted and sentenced — some prosecutors have diligently asked judges to open them to the public.

But a review shows that not all of the criminal cases have been unsuppressed. Not a single civil case cited in The Post’s investigation has been opened. The judges’ orders and the original requests to suppress the cases also remain closed to any public review despite assurances from state officials they were looking to change the process.

In three instances, judges quickly unsuppressed a criminal case after The Post asked why they were still inaccessible months after prosecutors filed a motion for them to be opened. In at least two other cases, prosecutors waited for a judge to act on a motion they said they filed, only to learn — after The Post asked about them — the paperwork never went through.

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