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DOC, Judicial Department audit shows sentencing errors

Sentencing Issues

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - An audit meant to make sure Colorado inmates were serving their time, shows many of them weren't.

An audit report released Wednesday showed there may have been issued with the sentences of 1,807 inmates. Judges corrected the sentences of 267 offenders but left 1,238 unchanged.

The Department of Corrections first looked at files of more than 8,000 inmates. Of those, they thought 1,807 of them should be looked at by the Judicial Department, because they thought there could be cases of offenders serving multiple sentences at the same time rather than one after another.

In the audit summary, the Judicial Department said, "Requesting a review by the courts does not automatically signify a mistake with the court order.  The file merits review but it may not require a revision to the sentence."

The corrections to the 267 offenders' sentences included increases in sentencing, reductions in sentencing and clarification in language or the court order, according to a Judicial Department spokesperson.

Gov. John Hickenlooper called for the audit in April, after a sentencing error led to the early release of Evan Ebel, a parolee suspected of killing corrections chief Tom Clements in March.

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