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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 Cites Constitutional, Humanitarian Objections to Homeless Sleeping Ban

Members of the Denver City Council will debate a proposal that would make it illegal, and impose fines or jail time, for sleeping outside on public property anywhere in the city.

This proposed city ordinance is unnecessary, mean-spirited and potentially unconstitutional. Boulder recently passed a similar ordinance, and we can't let city government criminalize homelessness in Denver too.

At any given time, the number of homeless persons in Denver far exceeds the number of available shelter beds. The proposed ordinance provides two choices: leave Denver or go to jail.

People who are homeless are afforded all the rights and protections guaranteed by the Constitution and should not be made criminals because they need to sleep outside. The proposed Denver ordinance, according to ACLU of Colorado Legal Director Mark Silverstein, is neither productive nor humane.

“When the homeless shelters are closed or full, it is terribly unfair, and unconstitutional, to impose fines and jail sentences on persons who have no choice but to sleep outdoors,” Silverstein said. “For the sake of justice for those who are homeless, we must turn back this proposal.”



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