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Gorostieta v. People.

2022 CO 41. No. 21SC441. Defendant’s Identity as Element of Crime or Sentence Enhancer.

September 12, 2022

In this case, the Supreme Court considered what prosecutors must prove to establish a defendant’s identity as the perpetrator of a prior crime when the defendant’s conviction of that prior crime is an element or sentence enhancer of the present offense. The Court concluded that the prosecution must establish an essential link between the prior conviction and the defendant, which requires presenting some documentary evidence and corroborating evidence of identification that connects the defendant to the prior felony conviction. Applying this test to the specific facts presented, the Court concluded that, under the relatively lenient standard of review that applies to sufficiency of the evidence challenges, the prosecution presented sufficient evidence to allow a reasonable jury to find that Gorostieta had been convicted of the prior felony at issue here.

The Court of Appeals’ judgment was affirmed.

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