“What has been different about Colorado is the response amongst some within the state and the level of concern about due process in Colorado is certainly something that we haven’t seen in other places around the country,” she said.
[University of Denver law professor David] Kopel said that from his perspective, Colorado’s law is better than other states’ in one way but worse in a number of other ways.
“The way it’s better is Colorado has a provision that says if somebody is accused under this law when they finally get into court, which is only later in the process, that if they want an attorney to be provided by the government, the government will provide that,” he said.
Kopel said it will ultimately be up to courts to decide whether or not it’s unconstitutional. But he thinks it does violate due process in a “common-sense way.”
When a firearm is removed from somebody, only the accuser’s side of information is presented in court, Kopel said. There is also no opportunity for the accuser to be cross-examined and questioned.
“That’s a fundamental thing in any fair system is when somebody makes an accusation, the accused person, if they want, can have a lawyer cross-examine the accuser and may bring out inconsistencies of the story and give the court the opportunity to observe the accuser in person and make a determination about the accuser’s credibility,” Kopel said.