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Recognizing shortcomings in indictments

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  • Legalbear
    [19] Grand jury indictments serve two purposes: to give the defendant sufficient notice of the crime that has allegedly been committed so that a defense may
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 15, 2004
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      [19] Grand jury indictments serve two purposes: to "give the defendant sufficient notice

      of the crime that has allegedly been committed so that a defense may be prepared" and to

      "define the acts which constitute the crime with sufficient definiteness so that the

      defendant may plead the resolution of the indictment as a bar to subsequent proceedings."

      People v. Buckallew, 848 P.2d 904, 909 ( Colo. 1993).

       

      [20] "Where a statute defines an offense in general terms, the indictment must allege the

      acts and conduct of the defendant which are deemed to have violated the statute." People

      v. Buckallew, supra, at 909. Merely reciting the statutory words is insufficient. People v.

      Tucker, 631 P.2d 162 ( Colo. 1981).

       

      [21] An indictment is not fatally insufficient if it adequately advises the defendant of the

      charges so he or she may defend against them. The sufficiency of the indictment is

      measured by substance, not form. People v. Bergen , 883 P.2d 532 ( Colo. App. 1994).

       

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