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Lawsuit Filed Challenging Alleged Violations of CO State Constitutional Amendment Prohibiting Involuntary Servitude

Forced Labor and Trafficking


In 2018, more than 66% of Colorado voters voted in favor of Amendment A, which removed the part of Colorado’s constitution that permitted slavery and involuntary servitude as punishment for a crime. The passage of Amendment A made Colorado a national leader in eradicating the so-called “penal exemption,” a racist stain present in state constitutions and in the U.S. Constitution’s Thirteenth Amendment. Despite the clear will of voters, the State of Colorado continues to force the people it incarcerates to work against their will under threat of punishment, including extended incarceration and social isolation.

Richard Lilgerose and Harold Mortis, who are currently incarcerated by the State of Colorado, filed a proposed class action lawsuit against the state, Governor Polis, and the Department of Corrections alleging that Colorado engages in persistent and widespread violations of the state’s constitutional prohibition against slavery and involuntary servitude. The plaintiffs are represented by Towards Justice and Maxted Law LLC.

  • Maxted Law LLC.

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