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.
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.
- 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.
Category Archives: Issues
We Won, but the Fight for Reproductive Rights Continues.
We have a lot to celebrate after Election Day. Here in Colorado, we defeated Prop 115 to keep abortion bans out of our state. And with record-breaking ballots cast nationwide, thanks in large part to deep organizing by people of color, we are setting the stage to protect reproductive freedom for all. With a SCOTUS hostile to abortion rights and anti-abortion advocates determined to overturn Roe v. Wade, it’s more important than ever to safeguard abortion access in Colorado. We have momentum,.... | Read More
ACLU and DOC Resolve Class Action COVID-19 Lawsuit, While Case Against Governor Continues
November 13, 2020 DENVER – With two court filings today, ACLU of Colorado announced a resolution with the Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC) of last May’s class action lawsuit alleging failure to protect medically vulnerable people in prison from COVID-19. The DOC and ACLU jointly asked the Denver District Court to enter an order, called a “consent decree,” which memorializes the terms of the resolution. It requires access to masks and hygiene supplies; prioritizes safe housing.... | Read More
No on 115, One Family’s Story
Proposition 115 is a dangerous mistake that is deeply personal for us. When we decided to grow our family, pregnancy did not come easy for us. When it happened, after several years of attempts, we were overjoyed. Early complications left us with a risky pregnancy to both mother and child that our doctors closely monitored. They needed the fetus to develop for 22 weeks before they could fully diagnose the issues and give us accurate information. The prognosis was heartbreaking. The developmental.... | Read More
A High Risk Pregnancy Obstetrician Says Vote No on 115
"Proposition 115 does not extend compassionate care." True story. A 25-year-old patient and her husband go to their OBGYN’s office for a routine, mid-pregnancy ultrasound. They are excited - they’ve spent the last several months preparing for their new family and adventures yet to come. A few minutes later, their world turns upside down. Their baby has anencephaly, a condition in which major parts of the brain and skull do not form. It is a lethal diagnosis and a devastating blow.... | Read More
Colorado Legislators Sign Joint Letter Opposing Amendment 76
32 State Lawmakers Condemn 76 as an Anti-immigrant “Voter Suppression” Effort, Urge no Vote DENVER – In a letter released Monday, 32 Democratic state lawmakers called on Coloradans to vote no on Amendment 76, condemning the measure as a “cynical, misguided initiative.” Legislators – including the Speaker of the House, Senate Majority Leader, and several other high-ranking officials – decried the amendment as a “direct attack on Colorado's youngest voters and our immigrant community,”.... | Read More
ACLU Report Finds Colorado Jail Depopulation Policies are Smart, Safe and Fiscally Responsible, Many Colorado Sheriffs Agree
DENVER – A new ACLU of Colorado report “COVID-19 Jail Depopulation in Colorado: An Unexpected Path Forward” found that jail depopulation in Colorado has been smart, safe, and thoughtful, with a clear focus on reserving jail beds for people who pose a threat to others. This report uses original data and research to assess the impact of depopulation policies implemented in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis and calls on legislators to memorialize these policies into law in 2021.... | Read More
ACLU of Colorado Launches 2020 Voter Guide Focused on Civil Liberties at Stake
DENVER – With less than 30 days until the most consequential election in American history, ACLU of Colorado launched its 2020 Voter Guide today to help people better understand the candidates’ positions on critical civil liberties issues and what ballot initiatives to look out for including: Amendment 76 regarding citizenship qualification of electors, Proposition 113 for the national popular vote, Proposition 115 concerning the ban on abortion later in pregnancy and Proposition 118 for paid.... | Read More
ACLU Demands Town of South Fork Rescind New Policy Banning Solicitation of Donations for Black Lives Matter
DENVER – Today, the ACLU of Colorado sent a letter on behalf of Sol Mountain Farm to the Town of South Fork’s attorney demanding the Town immediately rescind a new policy banning solicitation of charitable donations on Town-owned property. The Town adopted the new policy in response to a complaint that the Farm was providing customers the opportunity to donate to the Black Lives Matter movement at its booth at the weekly South Fork Farmer’s Market. “Solicitation of charitable donations.... | Read More
When Reform is Not Enough: Why we must reimagine safety
She was just sleeping in her bed, I think to myself. Even when we are resting . . . we are not safe. This past Wednesday, the announcement that the Louisville, KY police officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor would not be charged for her death left a numb feeling in my stomach. News like this always hits hard, but gone are the days of expressed fear, disappointment or even rage. Nothing is more painful than the realization that the U.S. criminal legal system, a system heralded by.... | Read More
ACLU of Colorado Statement on Aurora Protester Arrests
DENVER – The following is a statement from ACLU of Colorado Interim Executive Director, Stephen Meswarb. “Yesterday, prosecutors issued a more than 30-page indictment against activists protesting the killing of Elijah McClain and systemic racism by the Aurora Police Department. It has been more than a year since Aurora police officers killed Elijah McClain, and prosecutors have yet to issue an indictment against the officers who took his life. This is not justice. Yesterday's decision by.... | Read More
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