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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.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Masters Team Plans Federal Suit

The psychologist who created the theory that helped send Tim Masters to prison now says his opinions were manipulated by Fort Collins authorities and that a now-deceased eye surgeon better fit his profile of Peggy Hettrick's killer, according to a federal lawsuit to be filed today.

The turnabout breaks years of silence by San Diego criminal psychologist Reid Meloy, the Larimer County prosecutors' star witness at Masters' trial in 1999. Also, his belief that his opinion was manipulated is a core contention in Masters' suit.

The suit seeks compensation for Masters' 10 years of incarceration and 20 years as a suspect or defendant in the 1987 murder.

"What number could you possibly put on something like this?" said Masters' civil attorney, David Lane of Denver. "Fifty million (dollars), maybe? I don't know. It's unfathomable what Tim Masters went through."

The 81-page suit alleges that Fort Collins police and prosecutors violated Masters' constitutional rights by conspiring to fabricate, hide and destroy evidence to make the case that he killed Hettrick when he was 15 years old.

Fort Collins Police and Larimer prosecutors declined to comment Monday, citing policies to not comment on pending litigation.

The suit also points to the destruction of evidence tied to Donald Long, a former suspect, as another example of depriving Masters of his ability to prove his innocence. Long is the third known suspect whose evidence was lost or destroyed by Fort Collins authorities, preventing a new DNA analysis.

The Denver Post


Anonymous said...

If I spent 10 years in prison wrongfully and with the state's knowing I was innocent the price would be steep.1billion dollars per year in prison plus mandatory life sentences in the general prison population for all cops and judges involved. Plus forfeiture off all personal property to the litigant.

Anonymous said...

Two things:

1) Capital punishment for a "single crime" is wrong. Imagine if he'd gotten the death penalty for his "single crime" like so many prosecutors go for. Now he'd be dead.

2) The prosecutor should be disbarred and removed from all legal processes for withholding information. All crimes he has "prosecuted" should be re-opened and re-visited for other occurances of his malfeasance and misconduct.

Anything less, is an unacceptable crime against the American citizens.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately prosecutors are immune to any prosecution even if they willfully break the law, and are always rewarded with judgeships when they have a high percentage of convictions, which is why 99.99% of them break the law, even if caught nothing can happen to them, and in most cases the wrongfully convicted can not sue even if the prosecutor broke the law, other states allow for small amounts of money like $10,000 for each year spent in prison, this keeps them from getting sued.

Anonymous said...

making mistakes happens, but WILLFULLY withholding information and ruining someone's life is akin to murder and the punishment should be just as severe. Just so you can get a high conviction rate? Are you fucking kidding me?

Both of these scumbag judges should be disbarred and removed from all legal procedures. They have taken the public's trust and squandered it. These crimes are just one step below murder and should be treated as such. Absolutely infuriating, if any of these men have any conscience or real sense of justice, they would remove themselves.

Anonymous said...

I fully agree with all of you. NEVER lose sight of these egomaniacal judges. There are very FEW good ones.

Their real agendas are self serving. Don't expect them to step off the bench. They are far more concerned about their nefarious reputations than the welfare of the Constitution and ethical standards. Their negative egos won't do what is fully right. It screams of low self-esteem to actually WISH to judge with malice. Their time will come when they will KNOW what it is to be judged. Pathetic.

I'm waiting for more to go down with amusement and glee.

We are with you, Timothy! You will prevail!!!

Anonymous said...