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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.

COLORADO SPRINGS GAZETTE: D-11 TARGETS CATHOLICS, NO ONE ELSE

Wayne Laugesen

For the editorial board

THE GAZETTE

 

Students of District 11, listen up. You absolutely must know the Constitution. You should start with the First Amendment. The Constitution protects you from abuse by government authorities. It upholds fundamental rights each of us is born with, forbidding government from messing with them. It keeps government from forcing you to be religious or non religious.

Right now, your most fundamental rights are under attack by the government officials who run your school district. They are intent upon violating your First Amendment rights.

For students who haven’t studied it yet, the First Amendment says this: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

It says you have a right to express yourself and to worship as you see fit in public and in private without interference from Congress. No, your principal, school board members and superintendent are not Congress. But the 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, extends the First Amendment and other constitutional constraints on Congress to all other governments in the United States. So, when you read the First Amendment, replace the word “Congress” with “public schools.” Doing this, you’ll understand that public schools shall make no laws abridging your right to express faith in Jesus and Mary or other controversial beliefs.

Despite the clear meaning of the First Amendment, officials in your district have decided you do not have a right to express yourselves as Catholics by wearing the rosary.

Call or e-mail Mark Silverstein of the ACLU to thank him for defending the rosary

For the full story: http://www.gazette.com/opinion/government-105995-rights-students.html#ixzz11nVawRmw

 



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