The Supreme Court will decide in Nelson v. Colorado whether it violates due process to require criminal defendants whose convictions have been reversed to prove their innocence by clear and convincing evidence to receive refunds of monetary penalties they have paid.
Shannon Nelson was convicted of five charges relating to sexually assaulting her children. She was ordered to pay a variety of costs and fees. The appeals court overturned her conviction because the trial court allowed a lay witness to testify about the age at which children have the ability to remember information and relate it accurately. A new jury acquitted her.
She asked the trial court to refund the money she paid in costs and fees. It refused ruling that the legislature has not given it authority to issue refunds.