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, April 20, 2011

Former death-row inmates who were cleared urge students to fight death penalty - The Denver Post

Former death-row inmates who were cleared urge students to fight death penalty - The Denver Post

Two wrongly convicted men who spent a combined 32 years in a Florida prison waiting to die recounted the horrors of their experiences Tuesday and urged college students to join efforts to abolish the death penalty.

Shabaka WaQlimi and Juan Melendez spoke of the constant aggravations of death row, such as roaches and rats that visited the 6-foot- by-9-foot cells and the buzzing noise they could hear when corrections officers tested the electric chair.

They also discussed bigger heartbreaks.

WaQlimi, released in 1987, was barred by a warden from donating his kidney to his dying brother. Melendez, released in 2003, watched a friend and fellow inmate die after receiving lackluster emergency care in the prison yard.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's better to let 100 guilty people go free than to execute one innocent person. Our legal system -- it can't be called a justice system -- is so off kilter that we have DAs and prosecutors manufacturing or hiding evidence in order to get convictions. They run for re-election based on their conviction rates!

Can you imagine spending years and years in prison for a crime you didn't commit? And then being put to death for a crime you didn't commit! We need to abolish the death penalty. It's more expensive to sentence someone to death than it is to keep someone in prison for life.

But we need to revamp our legal system so we quit sending innocent people to prison! We also need to make the law retroactive that applies to juveniles not being sent to prison for life. We still have approximately 15 people in prison who were sentenced to life without parole as juveniles. Some of these people have been in prison since they were 15 or 16 years old. They have grown up in prison. They have changed their lives and should be given a second chance. The new law, from about 1997, allows juveniles to be sentenced to life but be eligible for parole after 40 years. Even that is very tough! Imagine going to prison at 16 and being released on parole at 56 years of age! Wow!