Colorado Rights Blog

ACLU of Colorado By: ACLU of Colorado 10.9.2013

World Day to End the Death Penalty

Faith, Social justice, and Civil Rights Organizations call on Colorado to End Unjust and Expensive Death Penalty

New data to be released comparing added costs of death penalty trials with cuts to public priorities and services

What: To mark World Day to End the Death Penalty, faith leaders, civil rights activists, and representatives of several statewide organizations – including Hispanic Outreach Coordinator Lisa Calderon, Sister llaria Buonriposi of the Catholic Mobilizing Network, and Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett – will hold a press conference to call for an end to the death penalty in Colorado.

The event will feature personal stories and reflections of the death penalty’s biased and unjust application and its damaging effect on communities, families, and individuals, including the story of a man who spent 18 years in prison and once faced death for a crime he didn’t commit.

New findings will also be released comparing the added costs of death penalty trials to other important public priorities that are often sacrificed, such as firefighters, teachers, services for the elderly, and afterschool programs.

When: 10 am MT, Thursday October 10, 2013

Where: Capitol Senate Press Room (Rm. 326)

3rd floor by Westside Senate Offices

Visuals: Blown-up infographic on costs, “End the Death Penalty” banners, and podium art

Contact: John Krieger, Communications Director, ACLU of Colorado, 720.402.3111/303.653.6246 or Rosemary Lytle, Coloradans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, 719.233.0243.



  • On November 21, 2016, 13 Aurora police officers responded to a simple noise complaint at Alberto Torres’s home. As happens all too often, Aurora police officers escalated this minor issue into a brutal affair. They beat Mr. Torres solely because he delayed exiting his garage to ask his wife to interpret for him. With that beating, the lives of Mr. Torres and every member of his family were changed and he has yet to recover. ACLU of Colorado fought to obtain justice for Mr. Torres, and Aurora has now paid him $285,000. But money is not justice, and the brutality of the Aurora Police Department against people of color has continued unabated.

    It doesn’t have to be this way.

    Imagine, if instead of 13 officers being dispatched to Mr. Torres’s home for a noise complaint, the City of Aurora sent a civilian-led response team to check on his welfare and ask that he and his friends lower their sound, resulting in a non-violent solution to a minor issue?

    ACLU Settles Case With Aurora After Police Brutalize and Unlawfully Arrest Alberto Torres

  • Hope is a discipline. It’s a commitment that together, we can create a more perfect union. We won’t rest until we fulfill the promise of equal rights for ALL people in the United States.

    Join us in our fight to fulfill this promise and move forward with hope by donating to the ACLU of Colorado. Your donation supports the ACLU’s strengths that make our work effective and collaborative.

    Donate now at

  • 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.