Colorado Rights Blog


  • 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.

2020 Bill of Rights Event

A big thank you to all who attended our Bill of Rights Event on Thursday, October 1, 2020, at 6:00pm. Although we didn’t have the opportunity to gather in person, we are so glad we came together virtually to celebrate our victories, honor our leaders, and inspire one another’s work just like we do each year at our Bill of Rights Dinner.

If you missed the live event, you can watch a recording of the event at:

Bill of Rights Event 2020

Evento de Declaración de Derechos 2020

If you are interested in sponsoring this event, you can find more information here.
Make a general donation to support this event and all the ACLU’s work here.
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2020 Bill of Rights Musical Guest

Nathaniel Rateliff

Join us for this event to watch a special performance from Denver-based, singer-songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff. As an outspoken critic of Greenwood Village’s resolution to undermine Colorado’s recently passed police accountability bill, Rateliff has promised he will not perform at the city’s Fiddler’s Green amphitheater until the resolution is reversed.


2020 Bill of Rights Event Honorees

Reverend Dr. Timothy Tyler and Dr. Nita Mosby Tyler

Reverend Dr. Timothy Tyler and Dr. Nita Mosby Tyler will receive the Carle Whitehead Memorial Award for their steadfast fight against racism, misogyny, homophobia and economic injustice. Together, the Tylers launched Race Talk University, a nine-week course educating people to lead conversations about racism and white supremacy in their communities.

Casa de Paz

Casa de Paz will receive the Ralph L. Carr Award for its outstanding work supporting detained immigrants and their families. Casa de Paz began in 2012 as a small, one-bedroom apartment offering hospitality to families separated by immigration detention. Today, they provide shelter, meals, transportation, and support to individuals and families experiencing immigration detention at no cost.

2020 Bill of Rights Dinner Keynote Speakers

Our keynote conversation will be between CeCe McDonald, a transgender activist working to dismantle the prison industrial complex, and Elisabeth Epps, a founder of the Colorado Freedom Fund, prison abolitionist, and the ACLU of Colorado’s Smart Justice Organizer.

CeCe McDonald

As a Black trans woman who has survived transphobia and white supremacy both in prison and out, CeCe McDonald is an activist committed to winning the liberation of all people experiencing oppression. Since her release in January 2014 after serving a 41-month sentence for protecting herself during a violent, transphobic attack, CeCe has dedicated herself to the trans liberation and prison abolition movements through education and organizing.

Elisabeth Epps

Elisabeth Epps is a Colorado-based prison abolitionist, bail activist, organizer, and attorney. As a founder of the Colorado Freedom Fund, a revolving fund that pays ransom for people unable to afford the cost of buying their own freedom, and ACLU of Colorado’s Pretrial Justice Organizer, Elisabeth Epps utilizes direct-action organizing to effect change across systems and communities.


2020 Bill of Rights Event Client Speaker

Dr. Apryl Alexander

Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from Dr. Apryl Alexander, Associate Professor of Psychology at DU and a community organizer with Black Lives Matter 5280. Dr. Alexander is a plaintiff in ACLU of Colorado’s lawsuit against the City and County of Denver on behalf of people who were injured by police while protesting the killings of Black men and women in late May and early June.


Thank you to this year’s sponsors:



Herbert Teitelbaum and Ruth J. Abram

Susan Stark and Bob Connelly

Killmer, Lane & Newman, LLP



Johnson & Klein, PLLC

Judith and Gary Judd

Mendez, Barkis, and Associates

The Sawaya Law Firm



The Advocates 

Arlene Bobrow and Charles Tanabe

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP

Christopher and Margot Brauchli

Chuck Lenzmeier

Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center

Colorado Bar Association

Dan Recht & Elaine Selsberg

Donna Werner

Elkind Alterman Harston PC

Hutchinson Black and Cook, LLC

Katy & Bryan KG

King & Greisen LLP

Targeted Legal Staffing Solutions

Tierney Lawrence LLC



Alan Chen

Betsy Crane

Faisal Salahuddin

Kebaya Coaching ~ Consulting Inc.

Nancy R. Crow and Mark A.A. Skrotzki

Paul DeBell

Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains

Robin Hobart

Robyn Loup

Sandra Farkas

Steve Zansberg and Lisa Weil

Strategies 360




Contact Susie Simmons at or (720) 402 – 3127 with questions.



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