Colorado’s Alamosa Municipal Court Tramples on the Rights of Poor People
Municipal judges have incredible power over the lives of the people who enter their courtrooms. When these judges refuse to follow the law and instead run their courtrooms like fiefdoms, they can ruin lives. This is starkly true for people already living in poverty who must appear in Colorado’s Alamosa Municipal Court. In our new investigative report, “Justice Derailed,” we examine Alamosa’s local court, which operates under the sole leadership of Judge Daniel Powell. This court stands out.... | Read More
President Trump and Attorney General Sessions Want to Enshrine a Business Right to Discriminate Into the Constitution
By James Esseks, Director, LGBT & HIV Project September 7, 2017 Can businesses put up a sign that says, “We Don’t Sell To Gays?” President Trump says yes. Today Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions told the Supreme Court in an amicus brief that businesses have a constitutional right to discriminate against lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. That means that business owners could put a sign in the window saying, “We Don’t Serve Gays,” even if a state or Congress.... | Read More
ICE Is Abusing the ACLU’s Clients Because They are Fighting Trump’s Deportation Machine
By Rebecca Wallace, Sara Neel, & Arash Jahanian AUGUST 31, 2017 | 3:15 PM It was an evening in late July when an ICE guard told France Anwar Elias and several other Iraqi men in immigration custody in Arizona that they were going to be released. France described the feeling as, “going from death back again to life.” The men broke out in tears and embraced one another. Many of them had been in immigration custody for months, unsure of the future and frightened for what could.... | Read More
FACT SHEET: HB17-1338 – A bill to Promptly Bring Municipal Inmates Before a Judge
MUNICIPAL DEFENDANTS OFTEN LANGUISH IN JAIL ON BONDS THAT THEY CANNOT AFFORD Statewide, the difference is striking—municipal defendants languish for weeks in jail on minor charges, while state and county defendants charged with serious offenses are brought promptly before a judge. Municipal defendants sometimes wait a week or more in jail to see a judge, even though most municipal inmates are incarcerated for low-level offenses, like littering, panhandling or dog-off-leash. In comparison,.... | Read More
Colorado Must Beware of Trump’s Voter Suppression Scheme
It is evident that the Trump administration is about to embark on a nationwide voter suppression campaign to disenfranchise thousands or even millions of voters. This campaign will be based on lies and myths about voter fraud, and it will be carried out under the name of “election integrity.” It is beginning with a mind-boggling demand for Secretaries of State to turn over detailed profiles of all registered voters in every state. It is essential that Colorado, a state that prides itself on voter.... | Read More
Can Businesses Turn LGBT People Away Because of Who They Are? That’s Up to the Supreme Court Now.
By James Esseks, Director, LGBT & HIV Project The United States Supreme Court just agreed to decide a case about whether a business can refuse to sell commercial goods to a gay couple because of the business owner’s religious beliefs. A win for the business could gut the nation’s civil rights laws, licensing discrimination not just against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, but against anyone protected by our non-discrimination rules. In July 2012, Debbie Munn accompanied.... | Read More
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.
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.
- 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.