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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 Statement on new Better Priorities Initiative poll on the death penalty in Colorado

“The poll released today by the Better Priorities Initiative confirms what we had suspected to be true; namely that Coloradans have grown uncomfortable with the failed experiment of the death penalty. Given the clear racial and geographical disparities in its application, fair-minded Coloradans are showing they are ready to move forward toward sensible criminal justice policies that actually serve us all.

Additionally the poll would suggest that there’s a shift among the public as displayed by the life sentences handed down by juries in the two recent death penalty cases. It’s an incredible burden to ask citizens to decide if someone will live or die, and the increasing preference for alternatives to the death penalty is likely an indication that we, as Coloradans, would rather not saddle our friends and our neighbors with such a grievous weight any longer.”

Resources:

Read the poll results from the Better Priorities Initiative

 

 



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