Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Lisl Auman and Hunter S. Thompson

Yesterday was warm and windy, thunderclouds threatened as they often do in Denver in May.
On the steps of the capitol, I stood with my friend Lisl Auman as she prepared to sing a song with her dad before the crowd that had gathered to honor Hunter S. Thompson and Lisl. We were joined by Hunter's lovely widow Anita who read from her new book, "The Gonzo Life". The message that she delivered was clear and necessary. "The most important word in politics, is we."

I was proud and honored to be able to stand on those steps and give my thanks to Hunter for his work in getting Lisl released from prison.

Rocky Mountain News-On May 14, 2001, gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson staged a rally on the state Capitol steps to call for freedom for convicted cop killer Lisl Auman. Notables such as rocker Warren Zevon were there, too.

On Sunday - a day short of six years later - a happy-looking Auman stood on those same steps a free woman.

"Lisl would not be out and none of this would have happened without Hunter S. Thompson," said Mary Ellen Johnson of the Pendulum Foundation. "We never want to forget that."

The Pendulum Foundation, a nonprofit organization established to oppose the trend of juveniles being sentenced as adults, organized this year's rally not only to commemorate Thompson but to remember the "forgotten 45" - the 45 people sentenced as juveniles to life without parole in Colorado.

Organizers, who called for an examination of juvenile sentencing laws, released 45 red balloons - each one carrying the name of one of the "forgotten 45."

Auman, who has kept a low profile since her release from a halfway house about a year ago, sang a song by Sarah McLachlan, I Will Remember You. Her father, Don, accompanied her on guitar.

Auman, 31, dedicated the lyrics to the people she served time with in prison. Later, she said the song was also for victims' families.

Auman told the roughly 30 people gathered that she wanted to carry on Thompson's legacy of seeking justice for "those who don't have a voice."

She said she will continue to protest excessively harsh sentences. She also gave her mother flowers and a Mother's Day card, something she said she longed to do while incarcerated.

Rocky Mountain News.

1 comment:

J ERSKINE said...

Juan Thompson and the Aspen Institute hosted a symposium on July 21, 2007 on the work of the late writer Hunter S. Thompson who created his own genre of writing with Gonzo Journalism and changed American political reporting forever with his book Fear & Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72.

Thirty-five years later journalists Carl Bernstein, Michael Isikoff of Newsweek, Loren Jenkins of NPR, John Nichols of The Nation and others came together in a symposium moderated by Professor Douglas Brinkley to discuss the effect of Hunter's work on political reporting and American politics.

The hour and half event is exclusively available at www.HunterThompsonFilms.com in nineteen clips of free, streaming video produced by Wayne Ewing.

Jennifer Erskine

Associate Producer