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, November 19, 2008

Broderick Cleared In Masters Case

By Nate Taylor

An internal investigation by Fort Collins police has cleared Lt. Jim Broderick of violating any department policies or procedures stemming from his involvement in the Timothy Masters case.

Fort Collins police Chief Dennis Harrison said Broderick has been exonerated of violating any department policies.

“That’s no surprise,” Masters said in a phone interview after hearing about the findings of the investigation.

Masters was convicted by a jury in 1999 for the 1987 stabbing death of Peggy Hettrick.

He was 15 at the time of the murder, and no physical evidence tied him to Hettrick.

A judge in January threw out his conviction, saying that DNA evidence pointed toward another suspect and that Masters didn’t get a fair trial, though Masters has not been declared innocent.

Broderick, a detective at the time, was the lead investigator in the case when it was presented to the jury.

“The investigation was not about wrong-doing,” said Harrison, who also said the decision was reached about three weeks ago but not disclosed because the Coloradoan had not asked about it recently. “It was about what the focus of the investigation was. It was about policy violations.”

Police didn’t look at wrong-doing because that was the focus of a special investigation by Weld District Attorney Ken Buck.

Buck concluded that, while there were problems in the initial Masters investigation — particularly in crime-scene management and turnover among lead investigators, there were no crimes committed that he felt could be presented to a court for prosecution.

According to Buck’s report: “Some facets of the investigation and prosecution of the Peggy Hettrick homicide are disturbing. ... After consideration of the evidence, I did not discover criminal conduct among employees of the Fort Collins Police Department or the prosecutors in the case. Based on my review, I believe the deficiencies in this case were the result of misfeasance not malfeasance.”

While malfeasance is illegal action, misfeasance is doing something technically legal but still wrong, according to legal experts.

The Coloradoan


Anonymous said...

I saw Broderick on 48 Hours yesterday. In that short 2 hours of information, it is completely obvious that Broderick was W-A-Y out of line!

The Fort Collins police deptartment might have 'cleared' Broderick, but I have not ... and many others feel the same way.

Tim Masters deserves his lawsuit against this obsessed character AND Fort Collins.

It is very interesting to note that it took a team of specialist OUTSIDE of the U.S. to review Tim's case and exonerate him. Europe is far more progressive in handling the law.

It is also very enlightening to note the very small amount of criminal activity in Europe.

Through my own searches on the internet for answers to my son's questionable incarceration, I have found many answers from doctors in Europe that would throw the original case off by miles. U.S. doctors have a long way to go before they have my respect.

As long as the judicial system gets 9 out of 10 guilty of a crime (3 years incarceration for most), the one that could be innocent is a great bargain to the prosecution and judge to thump their chests.

Not only is this system uninformed and cavalier, the people, for the greater part are dumb. mmm

Anonymous said...