The ACLU of Colorado received complaints that on Sunday morning November 13, at the first court appearance of Occupy Denver protesters who were arrested the night before, Magistrate John Hoffman refused to allow reporters and members of the press to bring paper, notebooks or any type of writing utensils into the courtroom. Westword reporter Kelsey Whipple reported that she was forbidden to take notes during the court proceeding. http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2011/11/occupy_denver_arrests_bond.php. In a November 16 letter to Presiding Judge John John Marcucci, the ACLU of Colorado protested this violation of First Amendment rights. For more information, visit https://aclu-co.org/case/judge-marcucci-aclu-re-paper-pens.
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.
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.
- 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.