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?
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.
Criminal Legal Reform
The Constitution protects Americans’ right to due process of law and humane treatment during incarceration regardless of race, socioeconomic status, age, gender, or sexual orientation. Continue reading
The ACLU of Colorado is committed to ending the use of the death penalty in Colorado. The death penalty is an expensive, ineffective, and unjust government program that risks making irreversible mistakes by executing innocent people, delays justice for victims’ … Continue reading
The First Amendment guarantees all Americans the freedoms of speech, press, religion, assembly, and protects their right to petition the government. Continue reading
The more people know about how public servants make decisions and spend tax dollars, the less vulnerable they are to deception and abuse by government officials. Continue reading
The Constitution guarantees the fundamental rights of due process and equal protection to every person in this country, regardless of their immigration status. Continue reading
Everyone in this country has the right to be included in the promises and protections of the Constitution, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Continue reading
Privacy & Technology
The Fourth Amendment protects us from unreasonable searches and seizures, but rapidly advancing technological capabilities and outdated laws have nevertheless left Americans’ private lives vulnerable to government intrusion. Continue reading
The ACLU of Colorado works to preserve and extend constitutionally guaranteed rights to people who have historically been denied them on the basis of race. Continue reading
The ACLU protects individuals’ right to make informed decisions free from government interference about whether and when to become a parent, and to be given access to the full range of reproductive health care. Continue reading
Student and Youth Rights
Constitutional protections are not reserved solely for those over 18. Students and youth have civil liberties that must be respected. Continue reading
The right to vote, and to have one's vote accurately and fairly counted, is a fundamental right of all American citizens. Continue reading