Durango Jury Trial Change

Durango city officials will now allow jury trials for minor offenses after the ACLU said denying defendants the right to trial violates the state’s constitution.

City officials agreed to rewrite its municipal codes after receiving a letter from the civil rights organization.

The ACLU represented Fort Lewis College assistant professor Anthony Nocella, who was accused of obstructing streets and parading without a permit.

Nocella had demanded a jury trial, but the city said he wasn’t entitled to one because the prosecutor wasn’t seeking jail time. The city has since dropped the charges.

Mark Silverstein of the Colorado ACLU says that even when a defendant is not facing jail time, that person has a right to a jury trial.