September 9, 2021

CSI Names Two Former District Attorneys as Criminal Justice Fellows

Brauchler and Morrissey to focus on the impacts of rising crime

Denver, CO – “We are pleased to announce George Brauchler and Mitch Morrissey as our Criminal Justice fellows,” said Common Sense Institute (CSI) President & CEO Kristin Strohm.

“The issues surrounding crime and criminal justice are complex, yet the recent trends are clear. From property destruction to car theft to murder rates Colorado is facing rising rates of crime,” continued Strohm. “Our Fellows, George Brauchler and Mitch Morrissey, will explore data driven solutions that address the growing individual, societal and economic cost of this concerning trend.”

According to Strohm, Brauchler and Morrissey will issue a study later this fall.

George Brauchler served as the elected District Attorney for the 18th Judicial District (JD), Colorado’s most populous district, which includes Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert, and Lincoln counties, from 2013-2021. As a state prosecutor, he handled the felony cases from the Columbine High School mass shooting case, the Aurora Theater (Batman) mass shooting case, and recently, the STEM Academy school mass shooting case.

Over his career, George has served as a Deputy District Attorney, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, military prosecutor, criminal defense attorney, military defense attorney, and just prior to his election, the Chief of Military Justice — the chief prosecutor—for Fort Carson, the 4th Infantry Division, and the U.S. Division North in Tikrit, Iraq. Colonel Brauchler serves as a military judge and legal advisor for NORAD-NORTHCOM in the Colorado National Guard. He has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado School of Law, University of Denver College of Law, the U.S. Army JAG School, and has trained state, military, and international prosecutors across the United States and worldwide. George has appeared in documentaries and news programs about various high-profile crimes, as well as having provided commentary for national news media.

Mitch Morrissey was the elected District Attorney of Denver, Colorado from November 2004 until January 2017. Prior to 2004, Mitch was a trial lawyer in the Denver District Attorney’s office. Mitch is internationally recognized for his expertise in DNA technology, applying that technology in criminal prosecutions, and working to ensure that DNA science is admissible in court. He has trained law enforcement officers and prosecutors throughout the United States, in the Middle East, in Central America, and Canada.

A veteran prosecutor, Mitch introduced the first DNA evidence used in a criminal trial in Denver. The DNA Resource Section at the Denver DA’s website became a resource for people interested in forensic DNA throughout the world. Mitch spearheaded the Denver Cold Case Project, which reviewed over 4,200 unsolved sexual assaults and murders using DNA technologies to solve old cases. In addition, Mitch and the Denver Police Crime Lab introduced the use of DNA to solve burglary cases and other property crimes. During his tenure as Denver District Attorney, Mitch became the leading proponent in the United States of using Familial DNA Database Searches to solve violent crime.

After leaving the Denver D.A.’s office in 2017, Mitch co-founded United Data Connect, a forensic DNA software company which has developed a secure web-based system to make familial search software available at a reasonable cost to law enforcement throughout the world. This software is responsible for solving murders in New York, Arizona, and Utah. It is currently also being used in Colorado, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Louisiana, and Australia.

“Both George and Mitch bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to these issues and we’re looking forward to their findings,” continued Strohm.


Common Sense Institute is a non-partisan research organization dedicated to the protection and promotion of Colorado’s economy. CSI is at the forefront of important discussions concerning the future of free enterprise in Colorado and aims to have an impact on the issues that matter most to Coloradans. CSI’s mission is to examine the fiscal impacts of policies, initiatives, and proposed laws so that Coloradans are educated and informed on issues impacting their lives.