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.

New leadership for the ACLU of Colorado

Since October of 2012, it has been my enormous privilege to serve as Executive Director of the ACLU of Colorado. Now, I am preparing to move on from this position, after completing our current fiscal year on March 31. I would not do this if I were not confident that we have the resources, staff and expertise to continue the critical work we do every day. You can read the official announcement at

When I began this position, I could not have imagined everything that we would accomplish in less than eight years. Our staff has more than doubled, our budget and reserves have more than tripled, and our membership has more than quadrupled. We have seen many dozens of legal victories and settlements, local policy wins, and legislative and ballot victories that have protected or expanded civil rights and civil liberties in Colorado. We have seen civil unions and marriage equality, many elements of criminal justice reform, expansion of voting rights in Colorado, laws to protect immigrants, protection of reproductive rights and so much more. We have built a communications team, added positions in education, issue research, and development, created a new campaigns and field capacity and learned how to mobilize members and supporters in elections.

That essential work, to protect and defend the civil rights and dignity of each person across all the arenas in which this fight occurs will soon continue under a new leader. Your continued support is essential to this work. The ACLU of Colorado and the ACLU nationwide will keep fighting vigorously for our rights and our democracy in this critical year and for many more years to come. I thank you for showing your commitment by continuing or increasing your support for the ACLU both now and in the future.

Nathan Woodliff-Stanley


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