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.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Facing The Death Penalty After All

the Denver Post

In a stunning reversal of form, it seems the Democrats in the Colorado legislature may choose, at the last moment, to put their collective conscience on the line after all.

I'm as stunned by the prospect as you are.

But, apparently, the legislature is considering resuscitating the thought-to-be-dead death-penalty bill — or at least that part of the bill that would abolish capital punishment in Colorado.

If the bill is brought back to life via a conference committee, that might well produce a series of on-the- record votes, in both chambers, on the last day of the session. The sound you hear is of a jaw scraping the floor somewhere near the governor's office. (For the record, Gov. Bill Ritter, longtime Denver DA, will have no comment on the bill until or unless it reaches his desk.)

For live drama, you couldn't beat this with a Nuggets playoff game. And, believe me, if it comes to a vote today, everyone will be watching.

Which leads to the obvious question: What are these guys thinking?

The Democrats in the legislature have, I've heard, produced many common-sense accomplishments in this session — in areas such as health care and transportation and education. Which are all very nice, I'm sure. But when it's gotten testy — where somebody might actually have to risk something — a handful of Democratic conservadems (Rachel Maddow's term) have consistently been remarkably, uh, cautious.

I mean, here's caution for you: Despite a 21-14 advantage in the Senate, the Democrats couldn't even get a proper no-hand-held-cellphones- while-driving bill passed. Here's what they came up with: no texting, and no cellphoning if you're under 18.