Should the Colorado judge who released a convicted child sex offender be removed?

By now, most people in the Grand Valley know the story of Michael McFadden. In 2015, McFadden was convicted of molesting six young boys and girls, and sentenced to more than 300 years in prison.

Upon appeal, the Colorado Court of Appeals threw out the conviction on a technicality and said the Grand Junction man could not be retried. Consequently, McFadden was released from prison in February and is a free man today who doesn't even have to register as a sex offender. However, he was required to register on the basis of a previous conviction.

The release of McFadden has not gone over well in Grand Junction, as well it shouldn't. Grand Junction is a community that takes child abuse in any form very seriously, and is extremely fortunate to have agencies like Mesa County Child Welfare Division, CASA,  Western Slope Center for Children, and Aerial Clinical Services.

According to, two of the three appeals court judges who made the decision to release McFadden are still on the bench. Judge Craig Welling is up for retention in 2020, while Judge Jerry Jones will be up for retention in 2024.

A petition recently began circulating calling for the removal of Judge Welling. The goal of the campaign is to get 10,000 signatures,and, ultimately, see that Welling is not retained in 2020. Those that are enraged by the release of this convicted child sex offender are being encouraged to sign the on line petition.

I have signed the petition because I believe we need to stand up for our children, who can not fight for themselves. Too many children in Mesa County -and across the nation - are being exploited on a daily basis by pedophiles and child abusers.Not only is this about the despicable acts these innocent children must endure, but also how they will be affected for the rest of their lives.

If you aren't sure about the facts of this case, you can read the actual court documents regarding McFadden's trial and subsequent release at, and then you can make your own decision about what the outcome of this campaign should be.

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