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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 the Proposed “Sit-Lie” Ordinance in Colorado Springs

8/24/15

DENVER – This afternoon, the Colorado Springs City Council will discuss a new proposal that would criminalize “sitting, kneeling, reclining or lying down” in various places, including on planters, sidewalks, and curbs, throughout downtown.

ACLU of Colorado Executive Director Nathan Woodliff-Stanley issued the following statement:

“The ACLU of Colorado strongly opposes the proposed ‘sit-lie’ ordinance in Colorado Springs. Sitting innocently on a planter that appears designed for that purpose is not a threat to public safety. It is an absurd government overreach to make it a crime worthy of a $2500 fine and six months in jail to sit, kneel, or lie down in a public place.

“This ordinance is clearly being proposed to give police another tool of selective enforcement to target, harass, and displace people who are homeless or living in poverty. Public spaces are more than just right-of-ways for shoppers and consumers. Courts have long recognized the importance of public streets and sidewalks as forums for free speech and peaceable assembly, and this ordinance would infringe on those fundamental rights.

“Rather than spending taxpayer dollars to criminalize peaceful conduct, Mayor Suthers and the Colorado Springs City Council should focus their attention on addressing the root causes of poverty and homelessness and on fixing well-established problems of racial bias and use of force in the police department.“

Resources:

Read Colorado Communities are Making it a Crime to be Homeless.

Visit the ACLU of Colorado Criminalization of Homelessness campaign page.



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