Colorado Rights Blog


  • 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 asks Denver to withdraw from FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force

May 18, 2005


In a letter sent yesterday to Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper and the members of the Denver City Council, the ACLU of Colorado urged Denver to withdraw its detectives from the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). The letter followed the ACLU’s release of documents that it said confirm that the JTTF is targeting peaceful political activists for harassment and building files on constitutionally-protected political activities and associations that have nothing to do with terrorism or other criminal activity.


The ACLU obtained the documents in response to a request under the Freedom of Information Act submitted in December, 2004, on behalf of 16 organizations and 10 individuals.


In the letter, the ACLU explained that the assignment of two Denver detectives to work full time for the FBI prevents Denver from complying with a key provision of the Settlement Agreement that resolved the “Spy Files” lawsuit in 2003. The Agreement requires Denver to hire an independent agency to monitor its compliance with new regulations that are designed to protect First Amendment rights and prevent law enforcement from compiling files on peaceful political activity. The independent auditor is unable to evaluate whether the FBI-assigned detectives are complying, however, because FBI secrecy prevents the auditor from obtaining the necessary information. The ACLU suggested that Denver should follow the example of Portland, Oregon, which resolved a similar accountability problem in April, 2005, by withdrawing its detectives from the FBI task force.


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