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  • 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: acluco.org/redemption. 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 https://action.aclu.org/give/support-aclu-colorado

  • 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. 

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2.27.20

“Do Not Kill in My Name” – How Colorado Finally Repealed the Death Penalty

For more than twenty years, an evolving coalition of victims’ family members, corrections officers, defense attorneys, prosecutors, faith leaders, and civil liberties champions have worked relentlessly to end the death penalty in Colorado. In 2019, following a democratic sweep of both the legislature and the Governor’s office, many thought repeal was inevitable. Unfortunately, the state senate could not bring the bill across the finish line. In response, the ACLU of Colorado launched an ambitious,.... | Read More

2.26.20

BREAKING: After Historic Vote, Colorado to Become 22nd State to End the Death Penalty

DENVER – After a nine month, community-led campaign, hours of emotional testimony and much debate, SB20-100 — the bill to end the death penalty in Colorado — passed its 3rd and final reading in the House. The bill is now headed to the Governor’s desk. Once signed, it will make Colorado the 22nd state to abolish the death penalty in the U.S. “Thanks to the support from faith leaders, death row exonerees, District Attorneys, corrections officers and, most significantly, family members.... | Read More

1.31.20

ACLU of Colorado Mourns the Loss of Long-time Leader and Advocate Judd Golden

ACLU of Colorado is deeply saddened by the death of Judd Golden, 70, on January 28, 2020. Judd was killed in a head-on collision on I-25 north of Pueblo when another car crossed the median. A long-time ACLU leader and volunteer, Judd was head of the Boulder Chapter of the ACLU for 20 years and a member of the chapter beginning in 1985. He was a volunteer cooperating attorney with the ACLU of Iowa starting in 1974, and moved to Colorado in 1984 as the Mountain States Counsel, a national ACLU staff.... | Read More

1.30.20

The Division of Youth Services is Right to Double Down on Culture Change

At the Capitol and in a recent op-ed, the Division of Youth Services has reaffirmed its commitment to culture change in DYS facilities. DYS has also put forward a plan to break down Lookout Mountain Youth Services Center into smaller facilities, to allow critical culture change to take root. These are the right steps to ensure safe and effective environments in DYS facilities, including Lookout Mountain. The call for culture change in Colorado’s juvenile facilities has been gaining momentum.... | Read More

1.28.20

Effort to End the Death Penalty in Colorado Advances

January 28, 2020 Effort to End the Death Penalty in Colorado Advances DENVER – Coloradans from across the state and sponsors on both sides of the aisle gathered to hear SB20-100 to Repeal The Death Penalty. After six hours of testimony, the bill passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee with a 3-2 vote. “Yesterday’s testimony from faith leaders, an exoneree from death row, District Attorneys, corrections officers and, most significantly, family members who lost loved ones to murder,.... | Read More

1.22.20

29. Dean Sanderford

https://soundcloud.com/thepurplestatereport/29-dean-sanderford In this episode, we continue our series on Colorado’s death penalty. Our guest Dean Sanderford, witnessed the horribly botched execution of his client, Clayton Lockett. Public Policy Associate, Helen Griffiths interviews. Read the ACLU of Colorado report, “Ending a Broken System: Colorado’s Expensive, Ineffective and Unjust Death Penalty” at: http://bit.ly/EABSco Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-purple-state-report/id1257880553 The.... | Read More