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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. 

Redemption Campaign: NFL Athletes Speak Out

In a series of ads, Justin Simmons, Alexander Johnson and De’Vante Bausby, activists and NFL professional athletes for the Denver Broncos urge Governor Polis to use his clemency powers to safely release people from prison and fight mass incarceration. The ads are the centerpiece of the launch of Colorado’s Redemption Campaign, a statewide initiative to safely release thousands of people who pose no public safety risk from Colorado prisons by challenging Governor Polis to use existing clemency powers in new and transformational ways. Learn more about the Redemption Campaign.

The Broncos athletes and the Colorado Redemption Campaign call on Governor Polis to do more — to boldly exercise his clemency powers to undo the harms of mass incarceration and champion racial justice in Colorado. 

Justin Simmons

“Today a Black person has a one-in-three chance of ending up in prison. For us, that would be like losing 19 members of our football team. That’s a major loss for us just as it is for our communities.” 
– Justin Simmons

Alexander Johnson

In this heartfelt video, Alexander Johnson shares his story as a dad and Black man in America and joins the Redemption Campaign to safely release thousands of people from Colorado prisons by challenging Governor Polis to use his clemency powers.

“We have the most imprisoned people in the world and we are supposed to be a free state.”
– Alexander Johnson

De’Vante Bausby

In this personal video, De’Vante Bausby urges Governor Polis to use his clemency powers to safely release people from prison. He shares his story and why he believes in rehabilitation, healing and second chances. Redemption is real. Clemency is compassion. We ask Governor Polis to extend a hand.

“Governor Polis, you have the clemency power to save lives and to define what redemption looks like in our state.”
– De’Vante Bausby



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