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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. 

Prison Officials Must Disclose CO Lethal Injection Protocol

August 2, 2013

Judge rules execution details needed to further public conversation about the death penalty

DENVER –Disclosure of Colorado’s current execution protocol will further the public interest and facilitate public conversation about the state’s use of the death penalty, according to a ruling issued yesterday by Denver District Court Judge R. Michael Mullins.

The court ruled that the Colorado Department of Corrections’ denial of an ACLU of Colorado request for access to a “restricted distribution” document outlining Colorado’s execution protocol and training was “arbitrary and an abuse of discretion.”

“We welcome the Court’s ruling. It’s a good day for transparency in public records and for furthering the public conversation about the death penalty in Colorado,” said ACLU of Colorado Legal Director Mark Silverstein.

According to Judge Mullins’ ruling, “CDOC has failed to demonstrate that disclosure of a properly redacted Execution Protocol would be contrary to the public interest. Particularly in light of Governor Hickenlooper's recent reprieve, which calls for a public conversation about the death penalty in Colorado, disclosure of these records would further the public interest.”

“The public has an interest in knowing how Colorado intends to carry out its executions, one of any government’s most serious functions,” said Lauren Schmidt of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, who argued the case as a cooperating attorney on behalf of the ACLU. “The Court’s ruling will help facilitate an important discussion about Colorado’s lethal injection procedures.”

Though the court’s ruling did not specify a deadline for providing the redacted document, Silverstein said he hopes the Department of Corrections will make it available “as soon as humanly possible.”


Read the District Court’s ruling.



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