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Sanders v. People.

2024 CO 33. No. 22SC413. Actual Bias—Right to a Fair Trial.

May 28, 2024

In this case, the Supreme Court granted certiorari to consider whether a division of the court of appeals erred by determining that a judge who had experienced criminal conduct similar to that at issue in the case was not disqualified under the Due Process Clauses of the US and Colorado Constitutions; CRS § 16-6-201(1)(d), and Crim. P. 21(b); or the Colorado Code of Judicial Conduct 2.11; and if so, whether reversal is required.

Although the Court concluded that the division applied too strict a standard when it required a showing of actual bias in order to support a disqualification motion, it nonetheless agreed that disqualification was not warranted on the facts of this case.

Accordingly, the Court affirmed the division’s judgment, albeit on somewhat different grounds.

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