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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 of Colorado and Boulder County Chapter Oppose Proposed Broadening of Boulder Panhandling Ordinance

May 22, 2014

Boulder, CO – The ACLU of Colorado and its Boulder County chapter are opposing the proposed new panhandling ordinance pending before the Boulder City Council.  They detailed their opposition, on free speech grounds, in a memo addressed to council members today, calling the proposal overly broad.

“The overly broad proposed ordinance would make it a crime to engage in peaceful, polite, non-threatening expression that poses no risk to public safety and is squarely protected by the First Amendment and Article II, Section 10 of the Colorado Constitution,” the ACLU said in the memo.  “The proposed ordinance is a content-based restriction of expression.  It regulates requests for money but not other types of solicitation.”

The memo cited a pending ACLU case in which the federal court granted a temporary restraining order against a portion of a Grand Junction ordinance restricting panhandling and an ACLU case in Idaho in which a federal court recently issued a preliminary injunction against a Boise ordinance that is similar to the Boulder proposal.

The ACLU memo noted that “Boulder already has a law against aggressive begging. …  It also restricts begging on parts of the Pearl Street Mall and in the University Hill commercial district.”   The new proposal, it said, “when combined with the recent [council] decision to restore jail time for many first-time minor offenses … sends a chilling message to residents and to other municipalities around the state that the City of Boulder is consciously moving away from its long-held commitment to protecting civil liberties in favor of a draconian crackdown aimed squarely at the vulnerable and least fortunate in the community.”



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