Denver officials want to build a multimillion-dollar courthouse as part of a new justice center after nearly a decade of flat-to-declining case filings in the city, says the Rocky Mountain News. There have been slight declines over five years in district court, juvenile, and misdemeanor filings in Denver. County court felony filings have increased.
City official James Mejia said said the cases that make it to court are taking “much more time,” thereby adding an increased burden to a courthouse that is “bursting at the seams.” Tougher sentencing laws, he said, are causing accused criminals to “run the gantlet” of court appearances – meaning the same number of cases creates more court appearances. Judge Raymond Satter, presiding Denver County Court judge, said his impression is that the crime rate is up and not getting better. He said that bringing prisoners through the corridors of the City and County Building is troublesome. A recent shoving match between a murder suspect and the victim’s relatives resulted in a broken window, he said. The city has tallied 35 “inmate incidents” at the City and County Building this year.