Rutter v. ColoradoAnnotate this Case
Defendant Jarrod Rutter was convicted of multiple felonies relating to the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine. Rutter was adjudicated a habitual criminal, which quadrupled the maximum presumptive range for the class-2 convictions from twenty-four to ninety-six years. Subsequent to his sentencing, the Colorado Legislature prospectively reduced the classification of the offenses for use and possession of methamphetamine, and amended the habitual criminal statute so that certain offenses no longer qualified as underlying felonies in habitual crime adjudications. The Legislature did not, however, reduce the classification for the manufacture of methamphetamine. Based on these changes, Rutter challenged the proportionality of his sentence under the Eighth Amendment. The court of appeals determined the legislative changes were prospective in nature and thus should not be considered, that all of Rutter's predicate and triggering offenses were per se grave and serious, and concluded that Rutter's sentence was not grossly disproportionate. Finding no error with the appellate court's review of Rutter's sentence, the Supreme Court affirmed.