Colo. U.S. attorney wants federal courts in Springs, elsewhere | SummitDaily.com
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Colo. U.S. attorney wants federal courts in Springs, elsewhere

DENVER – Colorado’s top federal prosecutor doesn’t think it’s right that the only U.S. district courthouse in the state is in Denver, and he wants to see courtrooms and judges placed in Colorado Springs, Grand Junction and Durango.”It’s not fair to the rest of the state,” U.S. Attorney Troy Eid told The Denver Post in Monday’s editions. “It creates distortions in justice.”Federal courtrooms and magistrates are available in each of those three cities now, and U.S. district judges last year traveled to Durango for three jury trials and to Grand Junction for two.But with 4.8 million people and about 104,000 square miles, Colorado is the largest state – in both population and area – to have only one city with a permanent, full-scale federal district courthouse. The others are Delaware, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Utah and Vermont.Colorado Springs, with 377,000 people, is one of the larger U.S. cities with no federal courthouse. Texarkana, Ark. (population 26,000); Pocatello, Idaho (51,000); and Valdosta, Ga. (44,000) each has one.Denver-based federal court officials have studied case loads and population in Colorado, and the judges question whether more courthouses are necessary, said court spokesman Greg Langham.”The court right now believes we are good with the current method of serving those areas,” he said, but officials will continue to look at the issue.Former U.S. Rep. Joel Hefley and one of Eid’s predecessors, John Suthers, have pushed for years for a courthouse in Colorado Springs.Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., said he is interested in the possibility of new courthouses in the state and has discussed it with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.”If at the end of the day it can be shown that there is ample justification for an expansion of our federal judicial system within Colorado, we definitely ought to move in that direction,” he said.


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