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  • 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. 

  • 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.

    Read more about Ronald Johnson and other at-risk incarcerated people.

  • 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.

Episode 16: #SaveCCRD

A few weeks ago three Republicans on the Joint Budget Committee voted to block funding to the Colorado Civil Rights Division, which protects all Coloradans from discrimination in employment, housing and public spaces. Hundreds of Coloradans rallied in support of the CCRD. While the funding is likely secure, some members of the Senate are pushing to change its make-up and reduce or even end its enforcement power. Alejandra sits down with Representative Leslie Herod to discuss the importance of the CCRD and how losing it would affect all Coloradans. We also have a story from Staff Attorney Arash Jahanian on a new class action lawsuit filed yesterday against El Paso County Sheriff  Bill Elder for illegally holding prisoners for ICE. And, Reproductive Rights Policy Counsel, Lizzy Hinkley talks about anti-abortion bills defeated at the state legislature.

Call to Action:

Join us for Lobby Day, March 14th at 8am. RSVP at: https://action.aclu.org/secure/co_LobbyDay2018

Join our Dream Act Phone Bank: https://www.facebook.com/events/203924433686973/

The Purple State Report is brought to you by the ACLU of Colorado. Our show was produced by Vanessa Michel, John Krieger and myself, Alejandra Garza with original theme music by Pablo Novelas. Additional music by Khruangbin.  If you have feedback or suggestions for future episodes email us at purplestate@aclu-co.org. 



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