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.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Judge Allows Masters' To Press Claim

The Denver Post
DENVER—Lawyers for a man who filed suit against prosecutors and law enforcement after his murder conviction was overturned by DNA evidence can begin taking testimony and gathering evidence after a judge denied a request to delay the case.

U.S. District Judge Lewis T. Babcock said Thursday the claims by Tim Masters "directly implicate our judicial system" and the public has a right to hear how the courts handled his case.

Masters was released from prison in January 2008, nearly 10 years after being arrested and later convicted in the 1987 slaying and sexual mutilation of Peggy Hettrick in Fort Collins, 50 miles north of Denver. Masters was released after DNA testing failed to place him at the scene and the discovery of evidence that had been withheld from defense attorneys during his trial.

"This whole thing has ruined Tim Masters' life," attorney David Lane told Babcock.

All defendants have denied wrongdoing and claim immunity because they were acting in their official capacity.

Since his release, Masters has been bidding on abandoned storage sheds and selling the contents on eBay Inc., said David Wymore, another attorney for Masters. As a teen, Masters aspired to be a horror fiction writer.

Masters' lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages.

Colorado is one of 23 states that have no law mandating compensation for those who are wrongly imprisoned, according to the New York-based Innocence Project. In states that do offer compensation, the wrongly imprisoned are paid anywhere from $50 per day of imprisonment to $50,000 per year.


Anonymous said...

I personally commend judge Babcock for allowing The Lane law firm to go ahead. It seems Lane is the only attorney in Colorado that understands the constitution and is willing to challenge the ESTABLISHMENT, which includes a lot of members of the Colorado legislature. This continual cry for immunity because of there job is bunk. When a public official violates law, (hiding evidence) making false statements, (goes on all the time), hiding police reports, they ought to be personally prosecuted and there immunity withdrawn. That would clean up the DA's offices, the police and sherriffs departments as well as the CDOC officers and guards who are currently with holding information, telling lies about 60 some cases of rape at the jails and prisons. Ritter as governor had a great opportunity to clean up this disgraceful mess when he took office. Instead he hired Ari Zavares to continue all the lie's and deception used in the prisons. There is no rehabilitation in any organization that turns out homeless people from the prisons. There family ties all destroyed by arrogant DOC case workers. I hope Judge Babcocks decision and David Lanes expertise in constitutional law will bring Colorado back to the civilized world. DJW

Anonymous said...

Timothy Masters should be compensated for the 10 years he did wrongfully, due to the corruption in the Larimer County Courts/Law Enforcement. He should also be compensated for the damage it reeked on the rest of his life. The 10 years he did were the 10 years when he should have been getting and education, beginning a career, marrying, having children, buying a home, and generally building a life. They took his entire normal life from him. He will never recover an average life and the missed opportunities from those stolen years. Basically, he should be financially compensated for life and it should be taken directly from the pocketbooks of Broderick, Gilmore, and Blair (the three Larimer County officials who lied and hid information that would have exonerated Mr Masters). Screw professional immunity. No one else has it. If I am a doctor and ruin sosmeone's life, I have no "professional immunity". I pay, due to my screw up, although I was "just doing my job" (and that would have been due to an honest mistake). Blair, Gilmore, and Broderick caused DELIBERATE damage; no accidental honest mistakes.

Anonymous said...

Craig Watkins, DA of Dallas County, has established a Conviction Integrity Unit. The focus is on HONOR among those who work for him and the people depending on justice.

EVERY county needs a Conviction Integrity Unit. No exceptions.

Craig Watkins is a rare man of honor. All D.A.'s would be well advised to follow in his footsteps.