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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.

AFTER ACLU ENTERS CASE, COLORADO SPRINGS DROPS EFFORT TO OBTAIN GAG ORDER AGAINST WEEKLY NEWSPAPER

After ACLU Enters Case, Colorado Springs Drops Effort to Obtain Gag Order Against Weekly Newspaper

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 8, 2002

The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Colorado (ACLU) reported success today in stopping the City of Colorado Springs from obtaining a court order that would have prevented the Colorado Springs Independent from publishing information about a Colorado Springs police officer.

 

Citing the First Amendment right of a newspaper to publish information lawfully obtained about matters of public concern, the ACLU announced yesterday morning that its lawyers would represent the weekly newspaper in a hearing that was scheduled for today. In the hearing, a Colorado state court judge was to decide whether to grant the City's request for an order prohibiting the paper from publishing certain information it had obtained from the City's files.

 

Within hours after the ACLU announced its entry in the case (and shortly after the ACLU filed its brief), the City canceled the hearing and told the ACLU that it would withdraw its legal action against the newspaper. "We are very pleased that the City has recognized and acknowledged that it cannot, consistent with the First Amendment, prohibit the Colorado Springs Independent from publishing information its staff members lawfully obtained by going to City Hall, identifying themselves as reporters, and taking notes on a file they were given to review," said Steve Zansberg, of Faegre & Benson, who wrote the ACLU brief that was filed yesterday.

 

"Now we can continue working on our investigative article without the distraction of this groundless lawsuit," said Cara DeGette, editor of the Independent.

 

"The City of Colorado Springs should have known from the start that the First Amendment prohibits the gag order that it requested in this case," said Mark Silverstein, ACLU Legal Director. "We are pleased that the City has seen the light and dropped its lawsuit against the Colorado Springs Independent."

 

The controversy began last week when DeGette and Independent reporter John Dicker went to City Hall and requested documents about the job performance of Detective Jeffrey Huddleston, in connection with their planned investigative article intended to raise issues of police accountability in Colorado Springs.

 

According to the City's lawsuit, a temporary clerk made a mistake by turning over the full personnel file. A supervisor eventually realized the mistake and retrieved the file, but Dicker had already taken notes, which he declined to surrender. The City filed its lawsuit and request for court order the next day.

 

With the threat of court-ordered suppression lifted, the Independent's article is expected to appear in an upcoming edition, which will be available on the web at www.csindy.com.



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