In January, Colorado Department of Corrections chief Rick Raemisch drew headlines when he sent himself to the hole for twenty hours, so he could get some idea of what it's like for prisoners serving time in solitary confinement. Raemisch believes that isolation cells are overused in the state prison ... More >>
Last week, we interviewed ACLU of Colorado executive director Nathan Woodliff-Stanley about the death penalty, which, in his view, makes society less safe, not more so. Our readers had a wide variety of views on this topic -- including the following commenter, who weighs in on Texas, the state that ... More >>
As we've reported, yesterday was World Day to End the Death Penalty, and to mark the occasion, capital punishment opponents gathered at the State Capitol to decry the ultimate penalty with time-tested arguments and new statistics from a white paper and infographic assembled for the occasion; see bot ... More >>
Rules against sex offenders living near schools or other places children congregate are generally popular. But a U.S. District Court judge has ruled that regulations put in place by the City of Englewood are so restrictive that they effectively ban such people from living in the community, and are t ... More >>
In recent days, members of Colorado's general assembly have been battling over legislation intended to outlaw the death penalty in Colorado. Yesterday, however, the proposal failed in the House Judiciary Committee. This development distressed the Colorado ACLU; see the group's statement below. But ... More >>
Details are still emerging about a high-speed police chase yesterday that ended with one suspect dead, four others in custody, and a Denver police officer identified as Robert Motyka hospitalized after a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. Speculation about what started the chase focuses on the deat ... More >>
Update below: Alex Landau talks about the news. Three years-plus since Alex Landau was beaten bloody after being pulled over for what officers cited as an illegal left turn, and a year since he was
In defending CU Boulder's decision to close Norlin Quad and ban visitors on 4/20, Chancellor Philip DiStefano claims the event is a party, not a protest -- an assertion echoed by the institution's spokesperson. But Mark Silverstein, legal director for the Colorado ACLU scoffs at this argument even a ... More >>
After weeks of denying that it would crack down on 4/20 events, the University of Colorado Boulder has announced that school will limit campus visitors to official business only and close down the famous Norlin Quad where as many as 10,000 students have gathered to smoke herb in past years. The camp ... More >>
Update: Now that the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act has been approved for the November ballot (get more details below), proponent Mason Tvert is busily lining up allies for what should be among the season's most interesting campaigns -- and at a 2 p.m. news conference, he'll be introducing thre ... More >>
Of all the constitutional freedoms cited in defense of the Occupy movement, the First Amendment is staked most territorially. But in Occupy Boulder, attorneys defending protesters arrested for illegal camping are using the Fourth Amendment in a push to dismiss evidence gathered when police officers ... More >>
The December news that Richard Rosenthal, Denver's Independent Monitor, would be leaving the post for a similar job in British Columbia, was greeted with enthusiasm by some law-enforcement types, who saw him as anti-cop. And their delight wasn't tempered by his office's final scathing report, on vie ... More >>
After Occupy Boulder pressured the city for weeks to deny its newly proposed park closure rule, Boulder's City Council Agenda Committee has opened the issue for a public hearing on January 3. If passed, the proposal will enforce a curfew similar to that of Denver, requiring city parks and recreation ... More >>
After long wait and frequent online debate, the second felony charge to come from Saturday's Occupy Denver riot has been released: Sean Driggers was arrested on criminal intent to commit second degree assault and will face an advisement at 10 a.m. this morning. His bond will be set at $5,000; ... More >>
Was Dakota Ridge High School student Bryce Benson punished for wearing a T-shirt that read "Border Patrol" while others who staged a mock-demonstration featuring signs that read "Fuck America" weren't -- or at least not initially? Ex-Congressman and recent gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo's not ... More >>
Videos below.Update below: A lawsuit filed this morning in Denver District Court challenges the legality of a Douglas County voucher program set to go into effect this fall partly on the grounds that it diverts public money to religious institutions. Yet plaintiffs include the Interfaith Alli ... More >>
Kate Cohn.The controversy over student Kate Cohn's "marriage is so gay" T-shirt, which was banned but then allowed after the ACLU complained, prompted an interesting post from one reader, who wishes we could create a thought-provoking environment for learning without risking the ire of variou ... More >>
Katie Sepich.A new law went into affect in Colorado today that will require anyone arrested for a felony to submit a DNA sample. "Katie's Law" is named after 22-year-old New Mexico State University graduate student, Katie Sepich, who was raped and murdered in 2003. Governor Bill Ritter signed ... More >>
There are mellow cops and in-your-face cops.Then there are cops like the Denver Police Department's Perry Speelman, the subject of at least 18 internal affairs investigations dating back to the 1990s, many triggered by complaints of alleged "unnecessary force" or "discourtesy." Precisely how ... More >>
A Flickr photoWill she still be able to uncover that in Boulder?At a meeting tonight, the Boulder City Council will take up a proposed public nudity ordinance that's gone through several permutations in recent months. At first, the measure forbade the display of a woman's nipples, among othe ... More >>
A sticker like this one started it all.Yesterday, in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, American Civil Liberties Union attorney Chris Hansen argued on behalf of a lawsuit filed by Leslie Weise and Alex Young, who were prevented by White House personnel from attending a March 2005 town hall ab ... More >>
Headed West owner Mike Mahaney in front of his mural.Just because the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled against the City of Englewood in its effort to get rid of an Alice In Wonderland-inspired mural featuring a hookah-puffing insect doesn't mean Headed West owner Mike Mahaney, the man who comm ... More >>
Who says folks at the American Civil Liberties Union's Colorado office don't have a sense of humor? They've just launched a page that asks the burning question, "Are you qualified to censor vanity license plates for the State of Colorado?" Included is a game that satirizes the decision by employee ... More >>
Photo by Cajun BoyMongo meets meat. Everyone form a line. Today in Cafe Society: • Hot Diggity Dog: Denver's Mongo Marquez joined the big leagues at Nathan's on July 4. • Civic Center Eats: Sweet Revenge cookies. • Tonight: Frasca wines paired with small plates from MiniBAR. • Where am I d ... More >>
Before we were panicked about swine flu and twisted by torture-memo leaks, we were terrified by the Devil Horse, Luis Jimenez's killer sculpture that stands guard outside Denver International Airport, its red eyes shooting deadly lasers at unsuspecting passersby. Or are those glowing orbs actually i ... More >>
Yesterday's New York Times switched the national spotlight onto a fascinating story based in Greeley. "Paying Taxes, and Fearing Deportation" focuses on Amalia's Translation and Tax Services, a business that has prepared tax returns for a mostly Hispanic clientele since the '90s. Last October, the W ... More >>
Really? Why, that's fascinating! This week, Westword explores the strange odyssey of Timothy Thomason, a cancer patient who went to the downtown Denver jail in 2006 for what amounted to an expired medical marijuana permit, had his life-sustaining pain medication confiscated — and was detained fo ... More >>
Back in November Westword published "The Poisoned Pen of Fort Lyon," which examined the toxic history of Fort Lyon, a frontier fort turned veterans' hospital turned prison. Since the place was turned over to the Colorado Department of Corrections in 2001, there have been numerous instances of inmate ... More >>
Chicago in 1968 was a place of violence and chaos. Some activists would like to re-create those good old days.
Why is the city putting the brakes on the Derailer Bike Collective?
Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?
Denver bicyclists get taken for a ride.
Roan and Groan
Art of the Matter
Liberty Ride n' Rod rocks for a good cause
Merchants battle transients on the mall.
The cops' plans to use a high-tech database to keep track of kids hanging out on the 16th Street Mall draws complaints.