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.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Mending Tim's Broken Life

The Denver Post

There's no telling how long it will take before Tim starts to really feel free. There is no way to remove the ten years of imprisonment from his memories and at the very least he should be paid in some way for the years he has lost.

He's barely unwrapped his taco before the $100 bill tumbles onto the restaurant table, dropped from the hand of a total stranger.

"I want you to have this," the smiling, middle-age woman says without stopping on her way out of a Fort Collins Taco Bell.

Tim Masters offers a quick "thank you" in the same half-astonished way he's responded to hundreds of such gestures in the year since a judge threw out his murder conviction and set him free.

People recognize Masters — tall, tight- shouldered, now balding — from newspapers and TV, the man who traded shackles and a tight orange jumpsuit for a proper shirt and bright yellow tie and strode quickly down the back courthouse steps.

Fresh out of a decade in prison, the world

New Life

  • Watch Tim Masters describe rebuilding his life.
is his cheerleader. The applause, the tooting car horns, the clicking cameras, the gifts — they follow him everywhere.

One day, an '88 BMW, the four-wheel drive he's always wanted, shows up at his Greeley attorneys' office. Another day, he's undergoing a free, $4,000 operation to fix his nearsighted vision.

Then he's on a plane, tickets paid, to Europe for an appearance on an Amsterdam TV talk show.

The first man in Colorado history freed from a life sentence by DNA evidence is famous. But it's a fame he would gladly trade to get back the lost years of his life.

The case that put him in prison was always circumstantial: Peggy Hettrick's naked, mutilated body was found in 1987 in a field near Masters' childhood home in Fort Collins.

Police quickly zeroed in on the stoic- faced, shaggy-haired 15-year-old as the killer — and for the next 11 years, did not let go. Masters had passed within several feet of the body on his way to school. His notebooks were filled with violent writings and drawings. Surely, authorities speculated, they were the musings of a killer.

He tried to live a normal life, through high school, a stint in the Navy, a house in California near his sister, a job as an aircraft

mechanic for Learjet.

Then early one morning in August 1998, the knock came. It was Lt. Jim Broderick. A psychologist had declared that the drawings and writings were the fantasies of a killer. Finally, the evidence Broderick needed.

Even without any physical evidence, it took just 10 hours for jurors to convict Masters of murder.

Cars, money and good wishes can't make up for that or do what Masters wants most — to bring the real killer to justice.

"How do you give me back my reputation?" says Masters, now 37. "How do you give me back 10 years of my life?"


Anonymous said...

A beginning would be the punishment of the Lt, Broderick and the 2 prosecutor's who are now Judges. I dont mean reprimands, rather dismissal from there jobs in criminal justice. I am outraged that they are allowed to sit in a courtroom and judge people. They deliberately sent Tim to prison by with holding evidence and convicted him with no evidence.
Justice for Tim right now would be a start in giving him back the 10 years they took from him. djw

Anonymous said...

Yes, and that same prosecutor who now is a judge gave my brother, a first time drug offender, 20 years. It is a crime in itself that people like Gilmore should be able to judge who is right and who is wrong. Just pure injustice. jl

Anonymous said...

jl. Sorry to hear that. It proves that Colorado is one of the most corrupt states.

The conniving that goes on in el paso county courtrooms are jaw-dropping. A good place to visit to enlighten yourself as to the highly questionable practices in el paso county, would be:


At the top of the page, note the CASE SUMMARY. Prepare to be alarmed and rightfully disgusted.

Reading the personal blogs (bearing false witness) of the young man sent to prison by an immensely flawed system is heart-wrenching.

Tim Masters is one among many who are convicted for crimes they did not commit. RESTITUTION is in order for ALL of them.

Clarence Moses is another example of complacency in the system. He was convicted because of a DREAM. No DNA or forensic evidence. Not one iota. Just a simple dream.

That's the ticket! I dreamt, so therefore......

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

It is a gamble for Webb, a fiery and cerebral Democrat from a staunchly law-and-order state. Virginia abolished parole in 1995, and it trails only Texas in the number of people it has executed. Moreover, as the country struggles with two wars overseas and an ailing economy, overflowing prisons are the last thing on many lawmakers' minds. spice incensesalvia