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 Calls for Academy to Rescind Invite to “Member of Lord’s Army”

The ACLU of Colorado, and other activists for religious freedom, are calling on the United States Air Force Academy' to withdraw its inviation to fomer Marine Lt.  Clebe McClary, a self-professed "Member of the Lord's Army," who is scheduled to speak at the USAFA's February 10 National Prayer Luncheon.

In a letter to Lt. Col. Gould of the USAFA, C. Ray Drew, Executive Director of the ACLU of Colorado, wrote, "The ACLU has no wish to to limit Lt. McClary's feedom of speech in an off-campus setting. However, we are gravely concerned about his presentation at a government sponsored religious event where military personnel and cadets will be subjected to a clear endorsement of one religiion. The fact the event invitation was sent by senior leadership at the Academy is troubling as well. …

"Government sponsored religious events such as the prayer breakfast are problematic , and are strictly out of bounds if the intent or effect is to proselytize the military audience. We endorse Michael Weinstein's letter of of January 20, 2011 as well as the issues and principles included in the letter by Jeremy Shaver of the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado. We believe the Academy certainly can find a more appropriate speaker for the luncheon than Lt. Clebe McClary, with his description of a complete Marine:  "USMC will always mean a U.S. Marine for Christ."

"The ACLU strongly supports religious freedom for all members of the military, but not at the expense of demanding allegiance of all to one government-endorsed faith or denomination. … We look forward to a quick resolution of this issue."

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