Colorado Rights Blog


  • 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: 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?

    ACLU Settles Case With Aurora After Police Brutalize and Unlawfully Arrest Alberto Torres

  • 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

  • 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. 

Groups to Deliver 1000’s of Signatures to Stop Retrial of Moses-El, an Innocent Man

DENVER: Two days after the launch of an emergency campaign to stop the retrial of Clarence Moses-EL, who spent 28 years in prison for a crime he did not commit and now faces a highly controversial retrial by outgoing Denver DA Mitch Morrissey, a coalition of community activist groups and concerned citizens will deliver a petition signed by thousands of Coloradans demanding that Morrissey end this persecution of an innocent man.

“Clarence Moses-EL has already spent 28 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit,” said ProgressNow Colorado Executive Director Ian Silverii. “The facts and irregularities in this case are overwhelming. No physical evidence tying Clarence to the crime has ever been produced. Another man convicted in separate sexual assault cases has confessed to the crime.”

“There’s no easy way to say it: railroading an innocent man while the public’s attention is on the elections makes a mockery of the justice DA Morrissey is sworn to uphold,” said Silverii. “We’re calling on Morrissey to end this misguided persecution of Clarence Moses-EL. Anything else would be a grave miscarriage of justice.”

“Mitch Morrissey’s decision to drag Clarence Moses-EL back into court when clear evidence points to his innocence amounts to reckless and unnecessary prosecutorial zeal,” said ACLU of Colorado Executive Director Nathan Woodliff-Stanley.  “As a public official sworn to uphold justice, Morrissey should listen to the thousands of concerned citizens who are encouraging him to stop this bogus trial before it starts.”

WHAT: Delivery of petition calling on DA Morrissey to drop the Moses-EL case

WHO: ACLU of Colorado, ProgressNow Colorado, NAACP Statewide Coalition, Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR), coalition of community groups and citizens

WHEN: 3PM, Friday, November 4, 2016

WHERE: Denver District Attorney’s Office, 201 W. Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80202

For more information, visit

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