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People v. Vigil

Supreme Court of Colorado, En Banc

June 1, 2015

The People of the State of Colorado, Petitioner
v.
Frank Vigil, Jr. Respondent

C.A.R. 50 to the Colorado Court of Appeals Court of Appeals Case No. 13CA2046 Jefferson County District Court Case No. 97CR1195 Honorable Tamara Russell, Judge

Attorneys for Petitioner: Peter A. Weir, District Attorney, First Judicial District Donna Skinner Reed, Chief Appellate Deputy District Attorney Golden, Colorado

Attorneys for Respondent: Nelson Colling Law LLC Stacie Nelson Colling Denver, Colorado

Attorneys for Amici Curiae Juvenile Law Center: Juvenile Law Center Marsha Levick Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Colorado Juvenile Defender Coalition Kim Dvorchak Denver, Colorado

Attorneys for Amici Curiae District Attorneys for the Second and Eighteenth Judicial Districts: Mitchell R. Morrissey, District Attorney, Second Judicial District Robert J. Whitley, Chief Appellate Deputy District Attorney, Second Judicial District Denver, Colorado

George H. Brauchler, District Attorney, Eighteenth Judicial District L. Andrew Cooper, Chief Deputy District Attorney, Eighteenth Judicial District Centennial, Colorado

Robert J. Whitley, Chief Appellate Deputy District Attorney, Second Judicial District Denver, Colorado

Attorneys for Amicus Curiae Colorado Juvenile Defender Center: Colorado Juvenile Defender Center Kimberly E. Dvorchak Denver, Colorado

EID JUSTICE

¶1 In this C.A.R. 50 petition, the People argue that the trial court erred in ruling that Miller v. Alabama, 132 S.Ct. 2455 (2012), applies retroactively to cases on collateral review of a final judgment. Arguing that his sentence was unconstitutional under Miller, defendant Frank Vigil Jr. filed a Crim. P. 35(c) motion for post-conviction relief of his final judgment. The trial court applied Miller retroactively and granted his motion.

¶2 This case is governed by today's decision in Jensen v. People, 2015 CO 42, ___ P.3d ___, which holds that Miller does not apply retroactively to cases on collateral review of a final judgment. Accordingly, Miller does not apply to Vigil. The decision of the trial court to grant Vigil's Crim. P. 35(c) motion is therefore reversed.

I.

¶3 In 1997, the trial court convicted Vigil of first degree murder for his participation in the kidnapping, rape, torture, and murder of a 14-year-old girl. Vigil was sixteen at the time of the crime. The trial court sentenced him to life without the possibility of parole ("LWOP"), because it was the statutorily-mandated sentence for crimes committed between 1990 and 2006. See People v. Tate, 2015 CO 42, ¶¶ 32–34, ___ P.3d ___ (discussing the statutory scheme). On direct appeal, the court of appeals affirmed the ...


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