Colorado Civil Liberties in Review: 12 Highlights of 2014
As 2014 closes, here are 12 highlights that represent a sample of the cases won, bills passed or defeated, and civil liberties issues raised by the ACLU of Colorado this year. There will be even more challenges ahead in 2015, from fights for privacy, free speech, voting rights and racial justice to battles against mass incarceration, capital punishment, abuse of police power, and discrimination in all its forms. Thank you to all of our members, supporters, and activists for caring about civil liberties,.... | Read More
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
One year ago, thousands of Coloradans marched in a historic display of resistance. At the ACLU of Colorado we carried that spirit throughout the year, fighting on many fronts for civil liberties. We won’t stop now.
By canceling DACA, Trump has put 800,000 young people at risk of losing their jobs and being deported from the only country they know as home. Passing the bipartisan Dream Act would protect them. We asked four Dreamers why the Dream Act is important to them and their future.
James Fisher spoke at the ACLU of Colorado Bill of Rights Dinner about how he and the ACLU are working together to stop the criminalization of poverty for the thousands of Coloradans who are trapped in debtors’ prisons.
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.