Colorado Rights Blog


  • 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.

Statement from ACLU Executive Director Nathan Woodliff-Stanley on DA Brauchler’s Decision to End Death Penalty Pursuit in Montour Trial

“The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado is encouraged by 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler’s decision to end his lengthy and expensive pursuit of the death penalty in the trial of Edward Montour.

“We also recognize the courage of Robert Autobee, who spoke out against the deep flaws in Colorado’s death penalty from a unique and extremely personal perspective.  Thankfully, Robert Autobee and his family will now be afforded the closure they have sought for more than a decade.

“The death penalty is expensive to pursue, it does not deter crime or make us safer, and every execution props up an unequal system that can and does make mistakes including the execution of innocent people.  Had this plea of life without parole been accepted when first proposed years ago, the taxpayer dollars that were lost could have been spent on priorities that actually make us safer and prevent violent crime, like updating corrections facilities, providing better law enforcement and corrections training, and improving mental health treatment in Colorado.”

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