Colorado Rights Blog


  • Cedric Watkins is a father, uncle, entrepreneur-in-training, and a vital community pillar for many others. While behind bars, he has tirelessly devoted himself to serving his peers and his community. He developed gang disaffiliation programs for other incarcerated individuals and is currently involved with Defy Ventures. He sends letters and calls his daughter as much as he can.

    Cedric is currently in prison at Sterling Correctional Facility. He was convicted of aggravated robbery, burglary, kidnapping, theft and sentenced to 80 years; no one was seriously injured or killed. For comparison, a person convicted of second-degree murder in Colorado faces a maximum sentence of 48 years. Cedric has already served 20 years and has fully rehabilitated during that time.

    It’s time to bring Cedric home: Redemption is real. Clemency is compassion.

  • 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. 

Broad-Based Coalition Vows to Fight Efforts To Ban Abortions and Restrict Contraception in Colorado

July 22, 2014

The coalition opposing Amendment 67 kicked off its statewide campaign today, vowing to once again defeat efforts to ban all abortions in Colorado, including in cases of rape and incest and when the health of a woman is at risk.

With the Colorado Capitol serving as the backdrop, speakers warned of the dangerous, far-reaching consequences of Amendment 67.

“Amendment 67 truly is an attack on family planning, an attack on a woman’s access to health care, an attack on the privacy of the doctor-patient relationship, and an attack on basic rights of women in Colorado,” said Vicki Cowart, CEO & President of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.

“Amendment 67 would remove a woman’s ability to make her own reproductive health care decisions.”

The Vote NO 67 coalition is broad-based, bipartisan coalition of doctors, nurses and other health care advocates, groups working against domestic violence and on behalf of rape survivors, faith and civil rights leaders, and community organizations.

Dr. Ruben Alvero, a Colorado doctor of obstetrics and gynecology, warned of likely outcomes.

Amendment 67 would restrict access to emergency contraception and commonly used forms of birth control — including the Pill and IUDs. It could impede the use of in-vitro fertilization for infertile couples who are hoping to have a family, Alevero said. And, stem cell research that is being used to fight chronic disease and disabilities could be restricted.

“Amendment 67 is bad medicine for women and for Colorado,” Alvero said. “It would allow the government and the courts to violate the sanctity of doctor/patient privacy, and allow government access to women’s private medical records.

“As an OB/GYN, I opposed this dangerous proposal when it was put before Colorado voters in 2008 and 2010. I oppose it again this year,” he said.

This is the third time proponents of Amendment 67 have attempted to ban all abortions in Colorado. Similar measures were overwhelmingly rejected by voters in 2008 and 2010. This year proponents are calling Amendment 67 the “Brady Amendment.”

If passed, Amendment 67 would expand the term “person” in the Colorado Constitution to include “unborn human being” – which has no established legal or medical definition, speakers noted. Further, the term “unborn human being” is not defined in the amendment – leaving the door wide open.

“We must protect women and their unborn children,” said Cristina Aguilar, executive director of the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR). “But Amendment 67 does not address any of that. Amendment 67 is written in language that tries to trick us. It would actually do the opposite – it would criminalize women and outlaw all abortion, including women who are the victims of rape, incest, and when a women’s life is at risk.”

Aguilar highlighted the far-reaching and negative consequences for Latinas and their families. “This amendment would eliminate a Latina’s right to make personal, private decisions about her body and her health,” she said. “It would allow the government access to her private medical records.”

Nathan Woodliff-Stanley, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, described how Amendment 67 would invite the government into peoples’ personal, private lives.

“Quite simply, it means that the term “unborn human being” would apply to all stages of pregnancy – all the way back to a fertilized egg,” Woodliff-Stanley said. “Amendment 67 would make pregnant women and health care providers criminally liable for any pregnancy that does not result in a live birth, right from the very first moments of a pregnancy.”

“Women need the full range of health care options when it comes to family planning. Every woman is different and every situation is different,” noted Karen Middleton, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado. “Amendment 67 does the opposite of giving women informed choices. It’s dangerous and it limits their freedom to live their own lives.”

The Rev. Jann Halloran, president of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice Of Colorado, highlighted concerns from the faith community.

“Decisions about family planning, pregnancy, birth control and emergency contraceptives should be resolved privately, based upon our own faith, our beliefs and values,” Halloran said.

Fofi Mendez, campaign manager for Vote NO 67, said, “Denying women access to medical treatments, and even contraception, does not protect women, their children and families,” Mendez said. “Coloradans saw through this and overwhelmingly voted this down in 2008 and 2010.

“Once again we need to deliver the message in November: No means no.”

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