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  • 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. 

  • Ronald Johnson is pre-diabetic, suffers from asthma and high blood pressure, and regularly uses an inhaler to breathe. His age and respiratory ailments put him at risk of serious illness and death if he contracts COVID-19. With over hundreds of active cases in Colorado’s prisons, his family fears he will not make it out alive. His daughter, Amber, says, “In prison, he can’t protect himself and he can’t social distance. My deep fear is that my dad will die in prison. That is an awful, traumatic reality to consider. My chest is tight just thinking about how quickly it spreads and how vulnerable he is.”

    Governor Hickenlooper shortened his sentence following testimony from family, friends and correctional officers advocating for his early release. Yet, he is still eight years away from parole. While he remains in prison, COVID-19 continues to spread. Ronald’s three siblings, four children and four grandchildren are desperate for his release.

    Read more about Ronald Johnson and other at-risk incarcerated people.

  • Tuesday Olson knew her pregnancy was in trouble and tried to access hospital care as soon as possible. But there was a problem: she was in jail. This is her story.
  • It’s time to end the death penalty in Colorado. Family members who lost loved ones to murder speak out against an unjust and broken system.

ACLU Applauds Governor Hickenlooper for Signing Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform

DENVER – This afternoon, Governor John Hickenlooper signed HB 17-1313, a bill passed by more than three-fourths of the Colorado legislature to rein in civil asset forfeiture and ensure that property seizures in Colorado abide by due process protections in Colorado law. The ACLU of Colorado sent a letter on Tuesday urging the Governor to sign the bill and “not stand in the way of bipartisan reform.”

ACLU of Colorado Public Policy Director Denise Maes issued the following statement:

“The ACLU of Colorado applauds Governor Hickenlooper for listening to the thousands of constituents who weighed in over the last few weeks and signing HB 17-1313, Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform, into law.  We also welcome the Governor’s decision to create a task force to identify further reforms and improvements to civil asset forfeiture in Colorado.

“ACLU members and activists sent thousands of emails and made hundreds of calls to the Governor’s office in support of HB 17-1313. Clearly, this issue resonated deeply with many Coloradans who want more transparency and stronger due process protections when police take property.

“We also thank lead sponsors Representatives Leslie Herod and Stephen Humphrey and Senators Tim Neville and Daniel Kagan for their leadership and commitment to advancing this legislation through bipartisan cooperation.  Coloradans benefit when their legislators prioritize good policy over partisan politics, and HB 17-1313 is a great example of the progress that can be made when differing viewpoints come together in support of civil liberties.”

Resources: 

ACLU Urges Governor Hickenlooper to Sign Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform

ACLU Letter to Governor Hickenlooper:

http://static.aclu-co.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/ACLULetterCivilAsset6517.pdf



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