Colorado Rights Blog

John Krieger By: John Krieger 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.

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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.