Colorado Rights Blog


  • Cedric Watkins is a father, uncle, entrepreneur-in-training, and a vital community pillar for many others. While behind bars, he has tirelessly devoted himself to serving his peers and his community. He developed gang disaffiliation programs for other incarcerated individuals and is currently involved with Defy Ventures. He sends letters and calls his daughter as much as he can.

    Cedric is currently in prison at Sterling Correctional Facility. He was convicted of aggravated robbery, burglary, kidnapping, theft and sentenced to 80 years; no one was seriously injured or killed. For comparison, a person convicted of second-degree murder in Colorado faces a maximum sentence of 48 years. Cedric has already served 20 years and has fully rehabilitated during that time.

    It’s time to bring Cedric home: Redemption is real. Clemency is compassion.

  • On November 21, 2016, 13 Aurora police officers responded to a simple noise complaint at Alberto Torres’s home. As happens all too often, Aurora police officers escalated this minor issue into a brutal affair. They beat Mr. Torres solely because he delayed exiting his garage to ask his wife to interpret for him. With that beating, the lives of Mr. Torres and every member of his family were changed and he has yet to recover. ACLU of Colorado fought to obtain justice for Mr. Torres, and Aurora has now paid him $285,000. But money is not justice, and the brutality of the Aurora Police Department against people of color has continued unabated.

    It doesn’t have to be this way.

    Imagine, if instead of 13 officers being dispatched to Mr. Torres’s home for a noise complaint, the City of Aurora sent a civilian-led response team to check on his welfare and ask that he and his friends lower their sound, resulting in a non-violent solution to a minor issue?

    ACLU Settles Case With Aurora After Police Brutalize and Unlawfully Arrest Alberto Torres

  • Hope is a discipline. It’s a commitment that together, we can create a more perfect union. We won’t rest until we fulfill the promise of equal rights for ALL people in the United States.

    Join us in our fight to fulfill this promise and move forward with hope by donating to the ACLU of Colorado. Your donation supports the ACLU’s strengths that make our work effective and collaborative.

    Donate now at

  • Anthony Martinez is 84-years-old and suffering from renal failure, as well as other serious medical conditions including dementia. He is currently incarcerated in the Sterling Correctional Facility, site of one of Colorado’s largest COVID-19 outbreaks with almost 600 active COVID-19 cases. He and his family are understandably terrified that he will catch the virus and die.

    In the midst of this public health crisis, incarcerated people as vulnerable as Anthony, could and should be immediately released to safely live out their remaining years with family.

    Read more about Anthony Martinez and other at-risk incarcerated people. 

A High Risk Pregnancy Obstetrician Says Vote No on 115

“Proposition 115 does not extend compassionate care.”

True story.

A 25-year-old patient and her husband go to their OBGYN’s office for a routine, mid-pregnancy ultrasound. They are excited – they’ve spent the last several months preparing for their new family and adventures yet to come. A few minutes later, their world turns upside down.

Their baby has anencephaly, a condition in which major parts of the brain and skull do not form.  It is a lethal diagnosis and a devastating blow to the parents to be. Their doctor discussed all options for care, and the young couple consulted with their pastor. Knowing that their baby would not survive, this family chose to end their pregnancy.

These are the types of second trimester pregnancy terminations for which Proposition 115 does not extend compassionate care.

Every day in Colorado, pregnant women and families receive unexpected lethal fetal diagnoses and are faced with the need to make gut-wrenching decisions. The fetus may have no kidneys, no functional brain, a severely malformed heart, or skeletal abnormalities that make survival a medical impossibility. The list is long. Women who receive a lethal fetal diagnosis also face a higher risk of health complications as pregnancy progresses. It must be emphasized that these are very wanted pregnancies in which something has gone terribly wrong.

Many lethal fetal diagnoses are not detected until 20-22 weeks gestation. If other confirmatory tests are needed, a patient could easily pass the 22-week mark in her pregnancy. Every patient’s situation is unique.  Proposition 115 would take away the right of a parent to pursue the avenue that is best for their family.

Chances are, you know someone who has walked this painful path. Unfortunately, in a super-charged political climate, families may not feel free to speak their truth, for fear of being judged or shamed. What these families deserve is compassion and support in their grief. Having worked in women’s health care for 27 years, I can tell you that no one knows what decision they will make until faced with serious pregnancy complications. As a society, we should be there to support pregnant women and families – not condemn them.

Thoughtful people across the political spectrum may feel conflicted in the debate over Proposition 115. But in order to show compassion and support for Colorado families, this measure must be defeated. Let’s work together, instead, on solutions that empower and support individuals and families. Proposition 115 will have many unintended consequences for Colorado families. We must respect patients’ decisions because it is their decision to make, not mine, and not yours. I hope you will join me in voting no on Proposition 115.

Dr. Lisa Becker, MD is a High Risk Pregnancy Obstetrician in Denver, CO


Return to News