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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 Supports Students’ Right of Religious Freedom

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 7, 2010
CONTACT:  C. Ray Drew, Colorado ACLU Executive Director, 303-777-5482 x105                     Mark Silverstein, Colorado ACLU Legal Director, 303-777-5482 x114

COLORADO SPRINGS –The Colorado Springs Gazette has reported that a local middle school has announced a policy forbidding students from wearing certain Christian symbols to school, unless they are worn underneath clothing.

The ACLU strongly opposes the decision of Colorado Springs School District 11 on the basis of religious liberty.

Mark Silverstein, Legal Director of the ACLU said, “The First Amendment protects the right of students to express their faith by wearing crosses, rosaries, or other religious symbols without interference from school officials. Our Constitution protects the right to individual religious liberty and the ACLU is here to support everyone who chooses to exercise that right.”

“For over 90 years the ACLU has always defended the religious liberty of all Americans. It is one of the most fundamental of our nation’s freedoms,” said ACLU Executive Director Ray Drew.

According to the Gazette, Monsignor Bob Jaeger of the Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs has stated that the church is OK with the school’s position and Colorado Springs School District 11spokesperson Elaine Naleski states that this policy is necessary to prevent the use of crosses and rosaries as gang symbols.

For more press coverage on the story, see links below:

ACLU: D-11 Ban Violates Students' Rights

Our View: D-11 Targets Catholics, No One Else

ACLU Rosary Statement – The Colorado Springs Gazette

CO: ACLU Speaks out against D-11 school's rosary rules

ACLU Stands up for the right of Colorado Springs middle schooler to wear rosary at public school



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