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 of ACLU of CO on the defeat of death penalty repeal bill

Statement of ACLU of Colorado Executive Director Nathan Woodliff-Stanley on today's defeat of the death penalty repeal (HB1264) in the Colorado House Judiciary Committee

"The ACLU of Colorado is highly disappointed that the House Judiciary Committee chose not to end the state's unjust and unfair use of the death penalty.

"The vast majority of law enforcement professionals agree that the death penalty does not deter crime. It is an enormous waste of taxpayer dollars, its use has been arbitrary and often discriminatory, and it poses an unacceptable risk of executing an innocent person.

"Ending the death penalty and replacing it with the more cost-effective and fair alternative of permanent imprisonment remains a top priority of the ACLU of Colorado. Opponents of repeal cited a need for more conversation and debate, and we are committed to being a catalyst for that conversation until the death penalty is ended in Colorado once and for all."

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