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People v. Johnson.

2021 CO 79. No. 20SC790. Restitution—Statutory Interpretation—Common Law—Abatement.

December 13, 2021


The Supreme Court considered whether the General Assembly abrogated the common law doctrine of abatement ab initio as to restitution orders in criminal cases. The Court held that the statute governing restitution requires a final conviction to maintain an order of restitution. Therefore, if a defendant dies of natural causes while his or her direct appeal is still pending, the abated conviction cannot support an obligation to pay restitution.

Accordingly, the Court overruled the Court of Appeals division’s decision in People v. Daly, 313 P.3d 571, 578 (Colo.App. 2011), and affirmed the Court of Appeals’ judgment in the present matter.

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