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.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Years after being freed and days after an exoneration, Tim Masters moves on - The Denver Post

Years after being freed and days after an exoneration, Tim Masters moves on - The Denver Post

The faded 1969 Chevy pickup that once belonged to Tim Masters' father now sits outside his new house on the outskirts of Greeley.

As a kid, Masters spent hours riding beside his dad in that orange truck, his chin and his hands on the dashboard.

"It's kind of sentimental," the 40- year-old Masters said Thursday as he stood in the gravel driveway. "I'll never get rid of it."

Instead, he plans to fix it up — right after he tackles the beat-up 1951 Cadillac and the 1974 Chevy Nova that are parked toward the back of the property, just waiting for the new five-stall garage to be finished.

"I can't wait to get started on these cars," Masters said.

Three years after he was freed from prison, and just days after Attorney General John Suthers exonerated him in the 1987 slaying of Peggy Hettrick , this is life today for Tim Masters — simple, secure and as close to "normal" as he can get after serving 10 years for a crime he didn't commit.

"I don't think I'll ever have a normal life," he said. "But I'm just trying to make up for those 10 years and enjoy life as much as I can."

Masters was 15 when Het trick's stabbed and mutilated body was found in a field near the Fort Collins home where he and his father lived.

Though police had no physical evidence linking him to the crime, he was arrested in 1998 and later convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

New DNA technology revealed that DNA found at the scene did not match Masters' profile, and in 2008 he was released.

Last year, he settled lawsuits with Larimer County and Fort Collins police for a combined $10 million.

The money was a lifesaver. Before the settlements, Masters lived for a while with family and then in an apartment and struggled to make money. He wanted to go back to school to study to be an aircraft mechanic — his career before he went to prison. But he knew that with his background, he would have trouble getting

He used the money — minus his attorneys' cut — to buy the 1.5-acre property and circa-1910 house, along with 40 acres of land in the mountains near Horsetooth Reservoir, a couple of trucks and some other toys. He invested the rest so that he will have a steady monthly paycheck for the rest of his life.

"I tell people now I'm semi- retired," he said.

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