Taxpayers Underwrite Prosecutors' Negligence; Negligent Prosecutors Get Promoted

Larimer County, Colorado, will pay Tim Masters $4.1 million for his 1999 wrongful murder conviction. Masters was released last year after he was exonerated by DNA testing. The money will come from the county's risk management fund and from a payment from the county's insurer. The former is funded by taxpayers, and the latter will almost certainly raise the county's premiums, also paid by taxpayers.

More interesting is who won't be paying. Former prosecutors Terry Gilmore and Jolene Blair convicted Masters on flimsy evidence (some drawings he'd made and testimony from an alleged expert on sexual deviants). They were also actually censured by Colorado Supreme Court for not bothering to look into evidence undermining their case against Masters, as well as for withholding exculpatory evidence from Masters' attorneys. The censure was an unusual reprimand for misbehaving prosecutors. But it was largely symbolic. As noted, Gilmore and Blair won't have to pay a dime to Masters. And both will get to keep their current jobs: They've both since moved on to become judges in Larimer County District Court, where they preside over other criminal cases.

Both negligent-prosecutors-promoted-to-judge said through their attorneys that they oppose the settlement, and are confident they'd have won if the lawsuit had been brought to trial. The way the law stands now, they're probably right.

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  • ||

    They wouldn't have to pay but the county obviously thought the taxpayers would and the insurance company thought they would.

    Prosecutorial immunity should only apply if prosectors act in good faith. I don't expect them to be perfect but I demand that they obey the law and be liable to criminal and civil penalties when they don't.

    Why in the name of all that is just is this considered a controversial opinion?

  • Be yourself quotes||

    Thanks for this info. Was very to understand.

  • ||

    So are they confident they had the right guy? If so, why don't they sue him for libel and slander?

  • Death Panelist||

    If I was Masters I would be quite tempted to accept half the settlement in exchange for having Gilmore and Blair penalized in some meaningful way. But my guess is that county managers would rather pay the full amount than go against sitting judges.

  • ||

    If I was Masters, I would put some of my judgment toward getting them thrown out in the next election.

  • johnQpublic||

    Open invitation to join Judicial Justice group at detective Broderick's arraignment on 8 felony perjury charges. Friday, July 30, 10:30am, Justice Center,Fort Collins, CO. This group is committed to educating the public NOT to retain judges Blair and Gilmore.

  • Old Mexican||

    Taxpayers Underwrite Prosecutors' Negligence; Negligent Prosecutors Get Promoted

    Under the "So, What Else Is New?" category . . .

  • ||

    If I were Masters, I would live off my settlement and stand in front of these guys' homes and court houses with a big sign that said, "I am the innocent man this person maliciously put into prison for murder."

  • Ha, Ha, Motherfucking Ha!||

    Revealed: Details of Shepard Fairey criminal investigation

    Recently unsealed legal briefs filed by Shepard Fairey reveal that the Los Angeles artist is the "subject" of a federal criminal investigation for "potential violations" of laws prohibiting evidence tampering and perjury. According to a motion filed by Fairey seeking to postpone his deposition in the civil copyright dispute with the Associated Press over the "Obama Hope" poster, a federal grand jury is investigating whether Fairey violated 18 U.S.C. §§ 1512(c) and 1621. Section 1512 makes it a crime to "corruptly...alter[], destroy[], mutilate[], or conceal[] a record, document, or other object, or attempt[] to do so, with the intent to impair the object’s integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding; or...otherwise obstruct[], influence[], or impede[] any official proceeding, or attempts to do so." Violations carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years, though sentencing guidelines usually call for considerably less than the maximum. Section 1621 is the federal perjury statute, which provides for a maximum sentence of five years.

    http://copyrightsandcampaigns......airey.html

  • ||

    Wow. I am speechless. But am laughing really hard.

  • Abdul||

    The end run around this, which I'm sure has already been tried on these two, is a State Bar Ethics complaint. If they violated their legal ethics, they can be suspended from practicing law.

    Also, trying to get the lawsuit money from the prosecutors won't make the plaintiff whole. It's unlikely that these two guys have anything close to 4 million in assets.

  • ||

    So even though he won the case, there is almost zero incentive for prosecutors to not do this. The only incentive would be for county managers/executives to tell them not to do it because it could cost the county money. Which it only does in very rare circumstances.

    At least the guy got compensated.

  • VIrginia Turisas||

    Very easy to follow but yet very complete. Keep up the good work. semi formal dresses

  • ||

    D*I*S*B*A*R.

  • ||

    I'm all for that.

    Witholding evidence should be an ethics issue for the bar, at the very least.

  • Michelle Lauper||

    It's really is solid, I love it. trundle beds

  • ||

    I don't understand what you mean. But for that news, how many other cases have been misjudged...

    scrabble solver

  • Michael Ejercito||

    More interesting is who won't be paying. Former prosecutors Terry Gilmore and Jolene Blair convicted Masters on flimsy evidence (some drawings he'd made and testimony from an alleged expert on sexual deviants).


    If the evidence is that flimsy, why did the jury convict?

    Is not the real issue juries convicting despite the prosecution not meeting its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt?

  • ||

    If the evidence is that flimsy, why did the jury convict?

    He was a sexual deviant. An "expert" said so.

    Plus jurors are no smarter than yopur average American. A scary thought if you ever get charged with a crime you didn't covict but an encouraging one if you're guilty.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    He was a sexual deviant. An "expert" said so.


    He was on trial for murder, not sexual deviancy.

    Plus jurors are no smarter than yopur average American. A scary thought if you ever get charged with a crime you didn't covict but an encouraging one if you're guilty.


    And that ultimately is how Masters was convicted. The evidence presented by the prosecution was not enough to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

    If only we could replace juries with computer programs that could calculate these things.

  • ||

    ""If only we could replace juries with computer programs that could calculate these things.""

    And who would build those systems? That's too much faith in something less smart that a human. A human might know when he/she is being bullshitted, a computer does what it's told.

  • ||

    It should be plain to see that "proving" the "guilt" of an innocent person beyond a reasonable doubt is not impossible, otherwise it would never happen.

    Otherwise, if you're innocent, why bother even getting a lawyer? There's no way at all negligent-to-the-point-of-criminally-malicious prosecutors could send your ass to jail if you're truly innocent.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    It should be plain to see that "proving" the "guilt" of an innocent person beyond a reasonable doubt is not impossible, otherwise it would never happen.


    That aparently was not the case with Tim Masters. Unless the story is omitting something, the only "evidence" presented to the jury was a bunch of drawings by Masters and expert testimony about Masters being a sexual deviant. That is not proof beyond a reasonable doubt, that is a case beyond reasonable belief. An d yet, the jury convicted despite the non-existenent case.

  • ||

    ""Is not the real issue juries convicting despite the prosecution not meeting its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt?""

    I agree. I believe it's a bigger issue than the misconduct. But what do we expect when educated people think juries are for people not smart enough to get out of jury duty.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    I agree. I believe it's a bigger issue than the misconduct. But what do we expect when educated people think juries are for people not smart enough to get out of jury duty.


    If the jury just followed the law and the evidence, Masters would have been acquitted in 1999.

  • ||

    Hey, yer ahhners, FUCK YOU!

  • Pat Hartman||

    Public hearing yesterday on the retention of these two judges
    http://fall-on-your-sword.blog.....blair.html

  • ||

    This is the way to get conservatives to change their minds about our ridiculous hardline law and the approach to crime. They worry about money. When you put in terms of their tax dollars, which is a language they understand. Some people here may scoff at the idea, but its effectiveness will surprise you.

    Works for discussions war on drugs too. scraps

  • sathi2000||

    Another great read! Thanks! Im always looking out for your next blog, they seem to get better and better :) thankyou!
    http://destinationsoftwareinc.com

  • ||

    I think the people skills thing is a little overrated. All the managers I've had have been the biggest and most forceful assholes in the group. None of them had any people skills. They just built little clicks/aliences with the popular people in the group. They used their alliences to fuck with the people who were really good and could really blow them away as managers.

  • jogos de motos||

    will pay Tim Masters $4.1 million for his 1999 wrongful murder conviction. Masters was released last year after he was exonerated by DNA testing. The funds will come from the county's risk management fund & from a payment from the county's insurer. The former is funded by taxpayers, & the latter will definitely raise the county's premiums, also paid by taxpayers. More fascinating is who won't be paying. Former prosecutors Terry Gilmore & Jolene Blair convicted Masters on flimsy facts (some drawings he'd made & testimony from an alleged specialist on sexual deviants). They were also actually censured by Colorado Supreme Court for not bothering to look in to facts undermining their case against Masters, as well as for withholding exculpatory facts from Masters' attorneys.

  • juegos de bob esponja||

    Tim Masters. Unless the story is omitting something, the only "evidence" introduced to the jury was a bunch of drawings by Masters and specialist testimony about Masters being a sexual deviant. That is not proof beyond a reasonable doubt, that is a case beyond reasonable belief.

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