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.

Film Screening: “Electoral Dysfunction”

When: 7:30pm, May 5th

Where: SIE Film Center, Colfax Avenue, Denver

Tickets: $5, includes free drink or $5 food credit. Tickets can be purchased here:

Panel discussion with filmmakers and voting rights experts to follow the film 

Electoral Dysfunction cover art


Film synopsis:

In 1965, after the dramatic marches in Selma led to passage of the Voting Rights Act, many concluded that the systemic roadblocks restricting millions of Americans from casting ballots had been permanently removed. Fifty years later, however, the battle over voting rights has been reignited. Join us for a screening and discussion of ELECTORAL DYSFUNCTION, an award-winning documentary in which political humorist Mo Rocca sets out to discover how voting actually works—and doesn’t work—in America. Praised for being “frightening and enlightening” by WBEZ Radio/NPR and as a “colorful, nonpartisan documentary [that] lives up to its title, exploring problems of nationwide accessibility and fairness” (New York Times), the film opens as host Mo Rocca makes a startling discovery: The right to vote is missing from the Constitution. He then heads to Indiana, home to some of the strictest election laws in the country, and meets one Republican and one Democrat who take him inside their efforts to get out every vote. As he progresses on his road trip, Mo investigates the heated debate over Voter ID laws; searches for the Electoral College; critiques ballot design with Todd Oldham; and explores the case of a former felon sentenced to ten years in prison—for the crime of voting. He also meets reformers who are working to make elections fairer and more equitable.

Following a dual premiere at the 2012 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, ELECTORAL DYSFUNCTION was broadcast nationally on PBS and is currently available on iTunes, Hulu, Google Plus and Amazon Prime. The film has won numerous awards, including the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award—the ABA’s highest honor for media projects that foster understanding of the law.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with filmmakers David Deschamps and Bennett Singer, who directed the film with Leslie D. Farrell. Singer’s credits include the Emmy- and Peabody-winning series on the history of the civil rights movement, Eyes on the Prize II, as well as Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin. Deschamps served as senior researcher for Jews for Buchanan, an irreverent look at the 2000 election, and co-directed four short videos on voting for The New York Times Op-Docs series. Mo Rocca is an Emmy-winning Correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning, a panelist on NPR’s hit quiz show Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me!, and a former Correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

To learn more or to watch a trailer, visit

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