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.

Judge Rules For ACLU: Issues Permanent Injunction Against Weld County DA

The case of Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck's illegal search and seizure of private tax files from a Greeley tax preparer in 2008 is over. District Court Judge Stephen Schapanski drove the final nail in the coffin of the Weld DA and Sheriff's unconstitutional 2008 search of Amalia's Translation &  Tax Service.

Despite having reason to suspect only a single customer, deputies took 49 file boxes containing the tax returns and related information pertaining to nearly 5,000 clients.The ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of business owner Amalia Cerillo and several of clients, asserting that their privacy rights were violated. Numerous judges, including the Colorado Supreme Court, agreed. 

This last ruling by Judge Schapanski orders that the temporary injunction issued in April of 2009 be made permanent. This ruling  directs the Weld County clerk to destroy all copies of information obtained from the illegal search and seizure of tax files from Amalia's Translation & Tax Service. Furthermore, Weld County authorities are forbidden from using or acting upon any information learned from the contents of those files.

Read more about the case and view all the legal documents, including the permanent injunction, here.

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