CASES & CAUSES IN THE NEWS
03/13/2021: On March 11, 2021, as Westword reports, a Federal Court judge "found subsections of the Colorado statute collectively known as the Children's Code to be unconstitutional, largely on First Amendment grounds. The far-reaching order, which is expected to necessitate new legislation to address the issue, sprang from a lawsuit filed around fifteen months ago against Denver District Attorney Beth McCann and Colorado Department of Human Services Executive Director Michelle Barnes by attorney Jessica Peck, who faced the prospect of being jailed after speaking to Westword for a January 2019 story."
07/05/2020: In an interview with The Denver Post, Jessica challenges Colorado's higher education leaders to ensure that domestic violence victims and young child abuse victims (as well as the wrongly accused of parent-on-child abuse) can still benefit from private scholarships and public grant opportunities.
As as the entire state of Colorado (and much of the planet) continue to hunker down under the ongoing threat of the world's first widely recognized worldwide pandemic, we have been able to successfully secure forensic interviews for children who'd previously been denied access to trained law enforcement investigators.
01/13/2020: In the aftermath of a U.S. Supreme Court decision concerning teen texting and suicide, Jessica speaks to Denver's NBC affiliate, explaining how the nation's highest court left many unanswered, complex questions about criminal liability at the intersection of teen suicide and technology.
12/23/2019: Erik Jensen to be freed from unconstitutional life sentence, release from prison by March, 2020:
Just before Christmas, our firm received incredible news. Thanks to a grant of clemency, Erik Jensen will finally be set free from a life without parole sentence, ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court several years ago, handed down when he was just 17-years-old in the late 1990's. We look forward to celebrating his release with him and his tirelessly devoted family. You can learn more about our commitment to incarcerated children, and to the Jensen case in particular, by scrolling below.
12/12/2019: Media Coverage of our federal suit challenging confidentiality rules surrounding child abuse and child homicide cases: As Westword explains here, "Some of the most prominent attorneys in Colorado have combined forces to challenge a statute related to child abuse records — and the lawsuit was triggered by a gag order issued after the January publication of a Westword story about a mom who was threatened by Denver Human Services (DHS) with losing custody of her child, in part because of her belief that her ex-husband was innocent in the death of his girlfriend's three-year-old son."
From the Associated Press: "A Denver attorney has filed a federal lawsuit challenging a state law that she said protects child welfare workers accused of misconduct. Jessica Peck, a family law and child welfare attorney, said current law censors her and grieving parents she represents with the credible threat of jail time if they publicly share information about the conduct of child welfare workers that Peck or the parents believe may have contributed to the untimely deaths of young children and teens across Colorado."
6/17/19: We are excited to announce Jessica's appointment to the new Colorado Behavioral Health Task Force, where she will advocate from her subcommittee post for improved individual outcomes and material changes to the way we deliver public and private mental health services to children across the state. In this capacity, we welcome you to share the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to your family's efforts to obtain timely access to youth residential mental health
treatment and/or critical out-patient services.
6/04/19: Where do kids go when they make credible threats to kill? Too often, they're returned home and sent back to school, without any warning as to their homicidal aspirations. As we explain here to NBC, current mechanisms to protect homicidal kids and those around them (such as the "safe to tell" reporting system or existing procedures for involuntary mental health holds) too often fail to protect those involved. The goal: to identify and treat homicidal kids, insisting that their families get the support they need to avoid the tragic loss of life, like what happened here in Colorado Springs in 2018 when a homicidal teen was released from treatment and ushered back to his family without proper safeguards in place.
5/22/19: It's hard to believe that more than a decade has passed since we first advocated (via The Denver Post editorial page here, and here) for the release of Colorado's Erik Jensen from a life sentence otherwise found unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court several years ago. At the conclusion of an emotional hearing before Douglas County District Court this month, Erik has finally been re-sentenced to 40-years-to-life. As legal advisor to Erik's parents, Curt and Pat Jensen, we are now exploring further legislative and administrative relief not only for Erik, but for all of Colorado's 40 + inmates serving life sentences for offenses committed before they were adults. Erik has his own terrific legal counsel, and we are honored to support their efforts by generating greater public awareness about this tireless campaign and its cautious optimism about prospects of Erik's future release.
5/4/19: We represent a coalition of Arapahoe High School parents, students and teachers, all seeking change of leadership after no less than eight student suicides since the on-campus murder of Claire Davis. Members also want answers after two teacher arrests in the last three months, where both face allegations of sex assault on AHS students. Click here for the latest from FOX 31 on AHSCC's call for resignation of the AHS's current principal. Here's an NBC report summarizing the coalition's core concerns and demands.
If you are an AHS stakeholder, you can visit here to complete the coalition's community survey. As Westword reports, more than 1,200 students, parents, and teachers have offered their input. This contrasts with a prior recent climate survey distributed directly by the school district, in which stakeholder responses, by contrast, were abysmal.
2/23/15 Jessica K. Peck's opinion commentary is featured by The Denver Post, where she unravels Hollywood's arguments concerning the so-called gender wage gap.
5/1/13 Jessica K. Peck urges America to wake up to the realities of domestic violence in same sex relationships; "Domestic Violence isn't Just for Straight Couples," The Denver Post.
1/24/14 For The Denver Post editorial page, Jessica K. Peck explains how America's collective fear of school shootings is resulting in policies that hurt families and innocent kids ("Post-Columbine, We Risk Criminalizing Childhood").
4/13/13 Jessica K. Peck speaks to Denver's NBC affiliate (9News) about the changing face of Denver's workforce.
10/25/10 Jessica K. Peck for The Huffington Post through "Pro-Pot Conservatism Takes to National Stage".
10/23/09 American Bar Association's ABA Journal features Jessica K. Peck
in "Lawyer is 'High Times' 'Freedom Fighter of the Month.'"
10/21/09 The Washington Post's Kathleen Parker profiles Jessica K. Peck in a broader feature on the role of bold women in championing the anti-prohibition movement.