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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. 

Statement on Nebraska Death Penalty Abolition from Better Priorities Initiative

Statement from Better Priorities Initiative on Abolition of the Death Penalty by the State of Nebraska

(ACLU of Colorado is a founding member of Better Priorities Initiative, a statewide coalition to end the death penalty in Colorado.)

“We applaud the state of Nebraska today for officially abolishing their death penalty.  Their citizens and lawmakers have recognized that the death penalty is broken.  It does not deter crime or make us safer.  It prolongs the healing for victims and their families and is a costly drain on resources.

“Nebraska’s move to repeal their death penalty follows a nationwide trend away from capital punishment.  Having a red state lead the way in abolition really demonstrates that this is not a partisan issue. Conservatives are becoming increasingly more concerned about the enormous cost of the death penalty and the dangers in trusting the government to carry out such a problematic punishment.

“We are encouraged by the bold move that Nebraska took today and hope that Colorado will be next to end this arbitrary system.  It is time for our lawmakers to look at the facts. The death penalty just doesn’t make sense anymore.  We should be focusing our time, money and resources on better priorities for our communities and the state of Colorado.”

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Better Priorities Initiative is a campaign dedicated to ending the death penalty in Colorado.  We believe that the resources and money saved from ending capital punishment should be directed towards better priorities for the state of Colorado.



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