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: acluco.org/redemption. 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?
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 https://action.aclu.org/give/support-aclu-colorado
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.
Category Archives: Voting Rights
ACLU Sues Aurora, Prior Convictions Shouldn’t Prohibit People From Running for Office
May 27, 2021 DENVER – Today, ACLU of Colorado sued the City of Aurora for blocking a candidate with a prior felony conviction from running for public office. Candice Bailey, an Aurora resident and community leader for racial justice, intends to run for an at-large position on the Aurora City Council in the November 2021 municipal election. But the Aurora City Charter and City Code forbid her from being a candidate or holding public office solely based on her past conviction. “A city has.... | 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 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 of Colorado’s New Year’s Resolutions
2020 is here, and this will be a very important year for the ACLU, Colorado and our nation. Here are seven ACLU of Colorado resolutions for the New Year to help guide our work and yours: Pretrial Justice. The majority of people in Colorado jails are not there because they have been convicted of a crime. The majority are legally innocent and only incarcerated because they can’t afford to pay a monetary bond. As the Colorado legislative session begins this week, the ACLU of Colorado has.... | Read More
Victories Under The Dome
We had an ambitious legislative agenda entering into the 2019 session and are happy to announce a series of successes. First, we championed legislation that will fund for the first time in our state's history, comprehensive sex education for schools seeking to adopt such a curriculum. We were able to champion legislation that will bring some relief to our immigrant friends and neighbors and advanced legislation that will reform aspects of our cruel bail system. You made this happen and we thank you.... | Read More
Denver Municipal Elections – Get-out-the-vote Text & Phone Bank
Denver Municipal Elections- Get-out-the-vote Phone Bank Monday, 5/6 6 pm - 8 pm | Doors open at 5:30 pm | Training starts at 6 pm ACLU of Colorado Offices: 303 E. 17th, Suite 250, Denver, 80218 RSVP HERE Every vote counts. And so does every voter. Join the ACLU of Colorado and voting rights activists as we increase voter turnout by making phone calls and sending texts to voters. We'll encourage voters to turn in their ballots and to support Initiative 300, the Right to Survive ordinance..... | Read More
2018 Voter Guide
The 2018 elections are critical, and we encourage everyone to vote. We do not endorse candidates, but we do take positions on initiatives that impact civil rights and civil liberties. Click here to download your 2018 Voter Guide. This year, ACLU of Colorado has taken the following positions on statewide ballot initiatives: Vote YES on Amendment A to remove slavery from the Colorado constitution: The Colorado constitution currently reads, "There shall never be in this state either slavery.... | Read More
ACLU Calls on Mitch Morrissey to Retract Misguided “Ballot Selfie” Threat
Statement of ACLU of Colorado Legal Director Mark Silverstein “The ACLU of Colorado calls on Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey to immediately retract his misguided threat to prosecute voters for taking and sharing “ballot selfies.” Recent court cases in New Hampshire and Indiana have affirmed the right to take ballot selfies and share them, citing the First Amendment right of voters to express support for a candidate and to communicate that support to others. Legislation in seven.... | Read More
ACLU of Colorado Announces 2016 Ballot Positions
DENVER – As ballots are being mailed out starting today to every Colorado voter, the ACLU of Colorado announced positions on three statewide initiatives and one Denver charter amendment. The ACLU of Colorado also created a voter information page with key dates, information on registration, ballot return, and the voting rights of students, overseas voters, people who are homeless and people who are currently or have been incarcerated. The following are the ACLU of Colorado’s official positions.... | Read More
Statement on SCOTUS Decision to Strike Down Part of Voting Rights Act
June 25, 2013 Statement of ACLU of Colorado Executive Director Nathan Woodliff-Stanley on the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a key portion of the Voting Rights Act "Today’s Supreme Court ruling makes voting less free and fair, and it is a step backward, not forward, for civil rights and minority access to the democratic process. "The court's decision is a significant departure from the Supreme Court's previous four decisions over four decades recognizing that.... | Read More
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