Colorado Voters Remove State Language Allowing Prisoners to be Forced into Slave Labor

This is what that language looks like in the 13th Amendment of the US Constitution:

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction

And the same writing in Colorado’s state constitution before voters backed Amendment A:

There shall never be in this state either slavery or involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.

More than 150 years after the ratification of the US Constitution’s 13th Amendment, Colorado has officially abolished slavery.

Citizens of Colorado voted Tuesday for Amendment A, a measure removing language in the state constitution that allowed prison labor without pay.

Colorado is one of more than a dozen states whose state constitution technically still allows involuntary servitude or forced labor as a form of criminal punishment.

The state’s language closely resembles a contested passage that is in the 13th Amendment of the US Constitution, which outlawed indentured servitude and the African slave trade, but allowed those convicted of crimes to be forced into labor.