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Repeal Of Colorado Criminal Libel Advances In House

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Colorado State Capitol (credit: CBS)

Colorado State Capitol (credit: CBS)

DENVER (AP) — A proposal to eliminate Colorado’s little-used criminal libel law is sailing through the Legislature.

A House committee approved the bill Thursday and sent it to a full vote in the chamber. The bill already passed the Senate unanimously.

Libel is typically addressed as a civil matter and few states still have criminal libel laws. The punishment for the criminal libel can lead to prison time and lawmakers who want to repeal the law say it can stifle free speech.

The law has been used seven times in Colorado in the last two years. But in some cases, the original charge is changed to something else, like harassment.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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