People v. Monroe.
2020 CO 67. No. 18SC708. Prosecutorial Misconduct—Self-Defense—Doctrine of No Retreat.
June 29, 2020
The Supreme Court held that it’s improper to argue that a defendant acted unreasonably in self-defense in failing to retreat from an encounter before using defensive force. Colorado’s longstanding no-duty-to-retreat rule permits non-aggressors to stand their ground when acting in self-defense. Here, the prosecution argued that defendant’s failure to retreat undermined the reasonableness of her belief that she needed to act in self-defense. Because such argument is improper, and because the trial court’s error in permitting that argument wasn’t harmless, the Court affirmed the Court of Appeals’ judgment on different grounds, reversed defendant’s judgment of conviction, and remanded the case for a new trial.
Prosecutorial Misconduct, Self-Defense, Doctrine of No Retreat