This article was printed in the Post this morning the italics are mine:
Brian Lackey sat in a courtroom Tuesday holding his 2-year-old on his lap. Father and son watched "The Incredibles" on Lackey's iPhone as they waited to see Tim Masters walk free.
A Fort Collins construction manager, Lackey hadn't spoken with his Navy buddy in the 14 years since leaving the service.
His is the life Masters could have built but for the 9½ years he lost to a murder he probably didn't commit.
Kids and high-tech gizmos may yet come for Masters, 36.
But how, if ever, can a man be made whole after essentially stepping off the planet for a decade?
"He was robbed of his home, his car, his money, his time," Lackey said of his old bunkmate. "And I keep thinking, 'How do you make it right?' "............."An apology would go a long way," said Tom Congdon, a retired Denver oilman who has championed Masters' release.
Congdon knows how it feels to be accused of murder. A lawyer defending his cousin against charges of murdering Congdon's aunt in 1977 pointed to Congdon as the killer. Police didn't pursue him as a suspect. But the panic gave him a "24-hour familiarity with how twisted things got for Tim."
"There has to be compensation for everything he has gone through," Congdon said.
Twenty-two states have laws to compensate the wrongly convicted. Colorado isn't one of them. Instead, it shoos them off like it does most inmates — with a $100 cash card.
"They shove him out the door in his underwear," said one of Masters' lawyers, David Wymore.
Tennessee offers those exonerated a maximum of $1 million, depending on lost wages and "mental suffering." New Hampshire caps awards at $20,000, no matter how long a prisoner was locked up. Other states pay for college tuition or counseling.To the family that stood by Masters all these years, accountability also needs to figure into the equation. Masters' late father, Clyde, had 15 brothers and sisters.
The clan knows well the details of his case. On errands, they bumped into the Fort Collins detective who dogged Masters as a suspect. They took their lumps when his office lost evidence from the case. And they stayed silent when he became head of the police department's internal- affairs division They all know him by name.
"Jim Broderick," said cousin Mark Lamb of Arvada. "And his head should roll."
Making Masters whole, his people say, means far more than freeing him, cutting a check or apologizing. It means making accountable those who — in the name of the state their family has called home for six generations — locked up one of their own and nearly threw away the key
The Denver Post