Specht v. People

Decision Date16 November 1964
Docket NumberNo. 21260,21260
Citation156 Colo. 12,396 P.2d 838
PartiesFrancis Eddie SPECHT, Plaintiff in Error, v. The PEOPLE of the State of Colorado, Defendant in Error.
CourtColorado Supreme Court

Francis Eddie Specht, pro se.

Duke W. Dunbar, Atty. Gen., Frank E. Hickey, Deputy Atty. Gen., John E. Bush, Asst. Atty. Gen., Denver, for defendant in error.

PRINGLE, Justice.

The plaintiff in error, Francis Eddie Specht, was convicted of the crime of indecent liberties under CRS '53, 40-2-32, and was sentenced under Chapter 122, Session Laws 1957 [CRS '53, 39-19-1 et seq. (1960 Perm.Supp.)], commonly called the Sex Offenders Act. He seeks reversal of the denial of his motion, pursuant to Rule 35(b), Colo.R.Crim.P., to vacate, set aside or correct the judgment and sentence.

The information charged that Specht:

'* * * who was then and there over the age of 14 years, did unlawfully and feloniously entice, allure and persuade a child, namely, * * * who was then and there under the age of 16 years, then and there into an office for the purpose of taking immodest, improper, immoral and indecent liberties with the person of said child; and did then and there unlawfully and feloniously take immodest, improper, immoral and indecent liberties with the person of such child, namely, the said * * *; and did then and there unlawfully and feloniously attempt to take immodest, improper, immoral and indecent liberties with the person of such child, namely, the said * * *'

He pleaded not guilty and the issue thus joined was tried to a jury, which returned a verdict of guilty. The trial court invoked the Sex Offenders Act and sent him to the Colorado Psychopathic Hospital for examination. He was thereafter sentenced to a term of not less than one day nor more than life in the State Penitentiary, under the Sex Offenders Act. Specht sought and was denied habeas corpus. See Specht v. Tinsley, Colo., 385 P.2d 423. He then filed the motion to vacate, set aside or correct judgment and sentence which is the subject matter here for review.

Specht contends that his constitutional rights have been violated because (1) he was sentenced under the Sex Offenders Act, although he was convicted of violating only CRS '53, 40-2-32; (2) sentencing under the Sex Offenders Act is cruel and unusual punishment within the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article II, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution; (3) Article III of the Colorado Constitution prohibits sentencing under the Sex Offenders Act, because the Sex Offenders Act unlawfully delegates legislative power to the judiciary and unlawfully delegates judicial power to the executive branch (the Parole Board); and (4) sentencing under the Sex Offenders Act violates his rights to equal protection and due process of law, as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article II, Section 25 of the Colorado Constitution. Despite Specht's assertions to the contrary, these contentions have all been dealt with and disposed of in the earlier case, Specht v. Tinsley, supra:

'Specht's several contentions pertaining to the alleged unconstitutionality of this statute have heretofore been considered and rejected by this Court. See Trueblood v. Tinsley, 148 Colo. 503, 366 P.2d 655, where this very statute was held to be constitutional. Specht argues, however, that Trueblood v. Tinsley, supra, is 'erroneous' in that it 'misconstrues' certain of the cases cited therein. Suffice it to say that we adhere to our holding in the Trueblood case and conclude that C.R.S. '53, 39-19-1, et seq. is not subject to the several constitutional infirmities suggested by Specht.'

Specht next argues that one cannot be charged, as he was, with a completed act, and also with an attempt to do that act. It is true that one cannot be found guilty of both enticement and attempting to take immodest, immoral and indecent liberties, and enticement and taking immodest, immoral and indecent liberties. Martinez v. People, 111 Colo. 52, 137 P.2d 690. But nothing in the law prevents the People from charging the accused with the two offenses.

Two problems with the information remain: (1) instead of precisely following the statutory language, it charges the taking of ...

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13 cases
  • People v. Wester-Gravelle
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals
    • June 28, 2018
    ...an objection on the grounds of duplicity must be raised, at least in the absence of good cause, before trial."); Specht v. People , 156 Colo. 12, 16, 396 P.2d 838, 840 (1964) ("[A]n attack on the ground of duplicity is only a matter of form, and must be made before trial."); Critchfield v. ......
  • People v. Davis
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals
    • May 4, 2017
    ...contention. That is so, they say, because defendant didn't make a duplicity challenge under Crim. P. 12(b). See Specht v. People , 156 Colo. 12, 16, 396 P.2d 838, 840 (1964) (a duplicity challenge is waived if not raised before trial); Russell v. People , 155 Colo. 422, 426, 395 P.2d 16, 18......
  • People v. White
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court
    • January 10, 1983
    ...on numerous occasions and have been uniformly upheld. See Vanderhoof v. People, supra; Trueblood v. Tinsley, supra; Specht v. People, 156 Colo. 12, 396 P.2d 838 (1964); Specht v. Tinsley, 153 Colo. 235, 385 P.2d 423 (1963) (overruled on other grounds in Specht v. Patterson, supra). As has r......
  • People v. Leisen
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • July 12, 1967
    ...in earlier phases of the Specht litigation (Specht v. Tinsley, 153 Colo. 235, at p. 238, 385 P.2d 423 (1963); Specht v. People of Colorado, 156 Colo. 12, 396 P.2d 838 (1964)). The Tenth Circuit relied on its earlier decision in Trueblood, and on Williams, when it upheld the Colorado statute......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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