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Washington v. People.

2024 CO 26. No. 22SC520. Joinder or Severance of Counts—Standards of Reversal—Harmless Error Review.

May 6, 2024


The Supreme Court held that the improper joinder of charges is a trial error that requires nonconstitutional harmless error review. The Court further held that Norman v. People, 496 P.2d 1029 (Colo. 1972), did not announce a rule of automatic reversal for erroneous joinder, so it was not overruled by the limitation of automatic reversal described in People v. Novotny, 2014 CO 18, 320 P.3d 1194. In Washington’s case, the Court assumed without deciding that joinder was erroneous but held that it was harmless. Thus, the judgment of the court of appeals is affirmed, albeit on slightly different grounds.

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