June 17, 2019

Colorado Supreme Court: Defendant’s Challenge of Waiver of Right to Testify Can Only Be Reviewed in Post-Conviction Proceeding

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Moore v. People on Monday, February 3, 2014.

Curtis Advisement—Post-Conviction Review—Contemporaneous Objection—Blehm—Knowing, Voluntary, and Intelligent Waiver—Right of Criminal Defendant to Testify.

The Supreme Court held that the court of appeals erred in considering on direct appeal defendant’s challenge to the knowing, voluntary, and intelligent nature of his waiver of the right to testify, and such a challenge may be brought only in a post-conviction proceeding. The Court also held that a defendant need not make a contemporaneous objection to his or her Curtis advisement in the trial court. [See People v. Curtis, 681 P.2d 504 (Colo. 1984), as modified by People v. Blehm, 983 P.2d 779 (Colo. 1999).]

Accordingly, the Court disapproved of and vacated the court of appeals’ discussion and holding regarding the issue of the validity of defendant’s waiver of the right to testify in this case. Otherwise, it upheld the court of appeals’ judgment of conviction.

Summary and full case available here.