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.
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.
- 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.
ACLU Report Highlights Stories of Victims’ Families who Oppose the Death Penalty
DENVER – An ACLU of Colorado report released today highlights 22 stories of families whose loved ones were murdered and why, in the face of such tragedy, they firmly oppose the death penalty. The death penalty is an expensive, ineffective and unjust process that harms victims’ families. Over the course of decades, victims’ families are forced to navigate a complicated legal process and relive the trauma of their loved one’s murder. “There was a trial for the killer’s accomplice that dragged.... | Read More
28. Sister Helen Prejean
https://soundcloud.com/thepurplestatereport/28-sister-helen-prejean The Purple State Report is back and we begin the new year with a series of podcast episodes analyzing Colorado’s death penalty. In this episode, our guest is Sister Helen Prejean, a prominent anti-death penalty activist and author of Dead Man Walking. Public Policy Director, Denise Maes and Public Policy Associate, Helen Griffiths interview. Join ACLU of Colorado on January 14, 2020, for End the Death Penalty Lobby Day. More.... | Read More
ACLU of Colorado’s New Year’s Resolutions
2020 is here, and this will be a very important year for the ACLU, Colorado and our nation. Here are seven ACLU of Colorado resolutions for the New Year to help guide our work and yours: Bring Our Neighbors Home. The majority of people in Colorado jails are not there because they have been convicted of a crime. The majority are legally innocent and only incarcerated because they can’t afford to pay a monetary bond. As the Colorado legislative session begins this week, the ACLU of Colorado.... | Read More
Remembering Longtime ACLU Leader Gwen Thomas
It is with deep sadness that we received the news that Gwen Thomas passed away on December 26, 2019 at the age of 94. Gwen was a longtime leader at the ACLU of Colorado and at the national ACLU. She served on the Board of Directors of the ACLU of Colorado for almost three decades, ending her last term in 2008. She also served on the Board of the national ACLU for 25 years, where she served on multiple committees and as Vice Chair for several years. She was a professor of English at what was then.... | Read More
ACLU Sues Frontier Airlines for Discrimination Against Pregnant and Breastfeeding Employees
December 10, 2019 DENVER — The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Colorado, Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP, and Towards Justice filed two companion lawsuits against Frontier Airlines today for systematically denying its employees basic accommodations for pregnancy and breastfeeding. The lawsuits, filed today by four Frontier pilots and four flight attendants, challenge a host of policies that harm pregnant or breastfeeding employees. Frontier has penalized flight attendants for.... | Read More
ACLU of Colorado Sues GEO for the Wrongful Death of Kamyar Samimi
November 12, 2019 DENVER – The ACLU of Colorado filed a lawsuit today against the GEO Group, Inc., for the wrongful death of Kamyar Samimi. Mr. Samimi, a Legal Permanent Resident, died in December 2017, after two weeks in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody at the Aurora Contract Detention Facility (ACDF), a for-profit detention center operated by GEO. The ACLU of Colorado’s investigation, which included a lawsuit for records related to Mr. Samimi’s death, revealed a.... | Read More