After Tragedy, Time to Focus on the Tough Work of Reform
I am horrified by the killing of police officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos in New York City. I grieve for their families, and I sympathize with the outrage of the law enforcement community. At the same time, I remain horrified by the killing of Eric Garner and other victims of police violence. I grieve for their families, and I sympathize with the outrage of protesters. Are these sentiments contradictory? I don’t think so. The violent death of any person in our society is tragic,.... | Read More
Mental Illness and the Death Penalty
This past week the state of Texas was scheduled to execute a severely mentally ill man. Scott Panetti has suffered from schizophrenia and other mental illness most of his life. In 1992 he went off his medication, dressed in full camouflage and murdered his mother and father-in-law in front of his wife and daughter. When he went to trial he was allowed to represent himself during both the guilt and penalty phases of the proceedings. He dressed in a cowboy costume at court and attempted to.... | Read More
HuffPo Blog: Fix the Police! Accountability Needed in Law Enforcement
(This blog post was featured on HuffingtonPost.com December 4) Following the non-indictment of NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo for strangling Eric Garner to death with an illegal choke hold in Staten Island, it is clearer than ever that something is badly broken in our system of justice. Once again, a black man has been killed by a white police officer with impunity, and once again there is no accountability for excessive use of force by those who ought to be protecting our communities, not killing.... | Read More
Why do I support the ACLU of Colorado?
I support and volunteer with the ACLU of Colorado because there is no better way to ensure social justice than by working within the ACLU to protect, defend, and extend the civil rights and civil liberties of all people. The ACLU does its work through litigation, education, and legislation, never forgetting the Constitution and Bill of Rights are not just words, but values to live by. I share in the vow to defend these values. How could you not be drawn to an organization that works with.... | Read More
HuffPo Blog: Colorado Communities Are Making It a Crime to Be Homeless
(This blog post was featured on HuffingtonPost.com November 27) Now is the time of year when poverty and homelessness are most prominent on the minds of many Americans. As families gather to eat together and give thanks for their lives, many of us also take time to think about the struggles of people who are less fortunate. Less often do we think or even know about the extreme measures that are used by local lawmakers and police to criminalize the existence of people who are homeless and to.... | Read More
Denver Post Letter to the Editor: Is there racial bias in U.S. prison sentencing?
(Written by ACLU of Colorado Executive Director Nathan Woodliff-Stanley and published in the November 22 Denver Post) When Judge Morris B. Hoffman labels racial bias in the criminal justice system as “nonsense,” he does so despite a body of research and data clearly showing the opposite. According to the non-partisan Sentencing Project, black defendants in the U.S. are 20 percent more likely to be sentenced to prison for the same crimes as white defendants. A recent ACLU report found.... | Read More
Our membership has quadrupled in the last six months, making it possible to do more than ever to protect civil rights and civil liberties in Colorado. Thank you to all our new members, supporters, and donors, and the ones who’ve been with us for years.
Leisel Kemp, whose brother Jason was killed by CSP after they entered his home without a warrant, spoke at the 2013 Bill of Rights Dinner about the ACLU’s legal advocacy on behalf of her family.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind is an original short film from the ACLU of Colorado about a man who has spent 17 years in solitary confinement and now suffers from debilitating mental illness.