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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 DECLARES VICTORY IN CHALLENGE TO COLORADO “ANTI-PROFANITY” REGULATION

ACLU Declares Victory in Challenge to Colorado "Anti-profanity" Regulation

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 6, 2000

The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado (ACLU) declared victory today in a free speech case when it announced that the State of Colorado has agreed to stop enforcing a regulation that forbids owners of bars and restaurants from "permitting profanity" on their premises.

 

The ACLU challenged the regulation in a lawsuit filed last September on behalf of Leonard L. Carlo, owner of Leonard’s Bar II in Colorado Springs. The suit charged that the Colorado Division of Liquor Enforcement violated Carlo’s constitutional rights when it relied on the anti-profanity regulation as grounds for abruptly confiscating 29 signs that had been on display in Carlo’s bar.

 

Less than a week after the ACLU filed suit, the Division of Liquor Enforcement countered by filing an administrative charge seeking to suspend or revoke Carlo’s liquor license for allegedly "permitting profanity." The ACLU then obtained a temporary injunction barring any additional enforcement while the ACLU’s lawsuit was pending.

 

"The State of Colorado has now agreed that it cannot enforce this antiquated and unconstitutional regulation against owners of bars and restaurants," said Steven D. Zansberg of Faegre & Benson, who served as an ACLU volunteer attorney and negotiated the settlement agreement. "The State will dismiss its charge against our client and return the signs it tore down from the walls of Mr. Carlo’s bar. In return, our client will drop his civil rights claim against Colorado officials."

 

"This settlement is a victory for the principle of free expression," said Mark Silverstein, ACLU Legal Director. "The Constitution does not permit government inspectors to monitor private businesses to ensure that the owners express themselves in accordance with government-approved standards of good taste. The First Amendment forbids the State of Colorado from punishing individuals simply for using language that government officials regard as offensive. As the Supreme Court explained many years ago, ‘One man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric.’"



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