Tim Masters is Free! Is Jim Broderick Another Mike Nifong?

timothymasters.jpg

Tim Masters is free after serving 8 + years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Now 36, Masters was released yesterday from a Colorado prison when DNA evidence pointed the fickle finger of guilt to someone else. But the saga is not over. Masters will find out next month is he will be required to stand trial again or if the charges will be dismissed.

Pursued for twelve years before he was charged with murder, Masters is relieved to be out of prison, but still unsure of his freedom as the saga is not over. Jim Broderick was the investigator involved in the Masters case and a man that Masters hold anger and resentment toward.

According to a CNN article Masters was quoted saying:

“My opinion is that Jim Broderick, the guy in charge of it, has a very big ego and would not allow anything or anyone to convince him that he was wrong,” Masters said.

“He made up his mind in the beginning, from day one when he walked into my bedroom and saw my horror drawings and war stories, that I was guilty. Nothing would change his mind.”
Masters was convicted largely on circumstantial evidence — a collection of gory sketches and narratives, a few knives and a forensic psychologist’s testimony that Masters’ stories and artwork indicated he fantasized about sexual homicides.broderick.jpg
In the Defense request for a new trial (which got Masters released) the following was stated: “Although Det. Broderick (pictured above) was the prosecution’s advisory witness and the moving force behind Dr. Meloy being enlisted to provide evidence against Tim Masters, Meloy was allowed to testify that such a profile existed and to base his opinions on it. It appears indisputable, at least, that the profile about which Meloy testified either did not exist or was fake. Certainly Broderick knew what was going on, and it is difficult to imagine that the trial prosecutors did not.”
Now…this rings true to another case which could have had a similar outcome. The wrongly accused Duke University lacrosse students – charged with rape – by, now disbarred, Mike Nifong. Had Nifong been able to move forward and get the conviction he sought, three students could have been where Tim Masters has been.
The question is – what would motivate an investigator or district attorney to pursue with such veracity a conviction without truly looking at all the evidence – remembering that one is guilty till proven innocent. In Masters case all the evidence was circumstantial. Other than finding the body and having a dark side with drawings and stories of violence – Tim Masters could have been any kid. And now, after losing a portion of his life – and being changed forever – Tim Masters is free.
Jim Broderick too is free. Is he guilty of a crime? He may be guilty of being an overzealous detective. But did he cross the line like Mike Nifong. Nifong went too far – mostly it seems to promote his political ambition. The price he has paid is huge. Disbarred, lost his job, convicted and now having filed for bankruptcy, Nifong’s consequence happened relatively quickly.

According to the Denver Post: “Today, Broderick says he’s 100 percent certain Masters is guilty.

He calls it a high point in his career, and he still talks about the things that gave him pause: Masters’ statement about the difficulty of pulling a serrated knife from a body, the newspaper on his dresser next to his knife collection.”

Every choice has a consequence. That is a reality that cannot be avoided. The Duke students have been exonerated and Nifong has paid a dear price. But what about Broderick – what if anything will he pay for pushing the limits and taking the freedom of Masters for so long? Did Broderick cross the ethical boundary in his pursuit of Masters? And, if so, what price should he pay?

From this vantage point, it looks like Broderick was a Nifong in action – only Nifong got caught since the Duke students had the funds and education to fight for their rights. Masters didn’t. He had a father who allowed his son to be interrogated without an attorney cause he thought the law was on their side. He was wrong and didn’t live to see his son a free man.

What should happen to Jim Broderick? Your comments are welcome!

Business Ethics Speaker – Chuck Gallagher – signing off.

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18 Responses to Tim Masters is Free! Is Jim Broderick Another Mike Nifong?

  1. BetGR says:

    This is exactly why I don’t believe in capital punishment. There are people serving time who are truly innocent. Prosecutors have huge egos and don’t want to lose (think Nifong ) I am sorry that Masters lost all that time for a conviction that I do believe was totally circumstantial. But what if he had received the death penalty? An innocent man (really boy) being put to death because the prosecutor was so tenacious that he wouldn’t see the truth and not allow himself to think anything but this kid was guilty. This is just another sad event in the annals of prosecutorial overdiligence. I wish Masters the best – hopefully his much deserved anger dissipates and he is able to see the fruits of freedom and the new life that awaits him. Personally – I’m not sure how I would feel – I imagine very angry) if this had happened to me or any of my loved ones. Drop all new charges and don’t allow a retrial. And as for Broderick fire the guy. He was not acting in the name of justice – he was just trying to put one more conviction under his belt and he was wrong. I wouldn’t blame Masters for suing Broderick and the DA’s office in civil court.

  2. Sonia says:

    He needs to sue the city but more importantly the individual detectives involved in his arrest.

    His horror pictures should not have been enough to make them think he was guilty. You can convict an innocent person if they dont have the funds for a good defense lawyer.

    America is NOT “justice for all or innocent till proven guilty” that applies only to those with means.

    America is infact the greatest lie ever told

  3. Wow…the greatest lie ever told? Now, I wouldn’t go that far. Think about it, we live in a country where we can freely carry on this conversation in public. In many, if not most, countries we would be censored or banned from being this free in a public forum. The Masters situation is a travesty of justice, but America is still my choice of countries. Mistakes can be made. Thank God, they can also be corrected. Masters is FREE. The question now is – will he be consumed with anger or channel his emotion into something that will benefit others?

  4. Chance says:

    Individualistic societies like ours are doomed to these kinds of problems, over and over. Why? Because everybody is always looking out for no. 1, even if that means having to squash no. 182,227,987 (can’t squash no. 2–he has too much money). Ergot, you end up with guys like this “detective”.

    Furthermore, the concept of “justice” in our country has become so punitive that many people just want *somebody* to suffer, no matter if the person is actually guilty or not, just to assuage our own revulsion or thirst for vengeance. I mean really–conviction of murder based on sketches and a skewed shrink’s character analysis? I could fantasize about walking into Fort Knox and walking out with a billion dollars worth of gold–doesn’t mean you’re gonna see me in Kentucky anytime soon. Individualistic societies are too flippant and willing to impose the will over an individual over another individual–we’re very cavalier about commanding the life of another.

    Don’t get me wrong, I dig this country. Would I say it’s the best? Well, no…but that’s because I’ve traveled the world. It’s definitely got its moments though. Unfortunately our justice system is more often than not something to be ashamed of than proud of.

  5. justacitizen says:

    Jim Broderick should go take a seat in prison.

    It is my opinion that when a detective does an egotistical act like this, they should go to prison and do the time that they pushed.

    If Jim Broderick was able to see past his pompus ego, he might have seen that he had no proof – but no, it is so important to look good at anothers expense.

    I think that ALL of athority should be banned from such positions when they can’t handle their jobs. Jim Broderick should be fired at minimum and never again allowed to be in a position of authority

  6. will says:

    The prosecutor and the detective in this case had to have known that they were acting negligently at least and criminally at most while railroading this man (at the time a kid) to jail. All to often, for the prosecution as well as the Para-military police force we now have, it’s not about justice but about winning.

    Nifong lost his job and got disbarred. Big deal. I wouldn’t really call that “paying dearly”.
    These people need to be held responsible. Abuse of power should be rewarded with some real jail time. Betcha that would give some of these overzealous, amoral bastards pause.

    Really, isn’t knowingly throwing an innocent person in a jail cell just about one of the nastiest thing’s a person could do to another? Anyone who thinks that this could make Mr. Masters a better person or channel his anger or enjoy his freedom probably hasn’t been on the wrong side of a jail cell before. That’s all crap. I’d be madder-n-hell. I’d sue you so bad your great grandbrats would be broke. But nothing could ever take the place of a nice long jail stay for those responsible. How about 9 years for 9 years?

  7. kbp says:

    While I’m disappointed about how our judicial systems operate, and extremely disappointed in the actions of the detective and prosecutors that handled this case, I am uncertain that anyone tried to convict Masters while knowing he was innocent.

    If such could be proved, then I am all for any criminal and civil actions against them that is available.

    At the minimum, the lack of professionalism displayed by all parties involved in the case should result in the elimination of them having any authority over others. Firing the detective and removing the prosecutors from their positions as judges would be nice.

  8. Tom says:

    I have seen first hand that police officers are not always neutral witnesses, but can instead be biased advocates for their position. I have also seen how courts accept the testimony of police officers without question, as if the police officer is the most neutral and honest witness ever created. It is disturbing to say the least and serves to underminded my confidence in the judicial system. If nothing else, I hope the Tim Masters case forces future jurors to challenge in their minds perceptions of police officers, expert witnesses, prosecutors, and judges. I want guilty people to be convicted, but it breaks my heart to see what has happened to Tim Masters, which began with an incredibly disturbing police interrogation of a 15-year-old boy. If you have not seen the videotaped interrogation on the internet, you should. But you wont like what you see.

  9. […] hard to gain a conviction instead of looking objectively at the crime and the person accused.  See Jim Broderick Blog. The Denver News reports: “Masters’ defense team had DNA evidence independently […]

  10. matt says:

    The fact that there was different DNA found is not nearly enough to convince me that Masters is innocent. She could have been with the ex the night before or that morning. I think its kinda crazy that Masters is already out of prison. I also think there should definately be a retrial. If he actually did do it then he was a sicko back and prison is sure to have made him worse. Its a risk to public saftey to have a man who could have done this out in the streets.

    mm-

    • Jim says:

      Are you a moron. There is absolutely no evidence linking Tim Masters but scribbles. He was 15!!! So he was such a prolific killer by 15 that there was no blood stains, clothing, knife, etc… Oh yeah no DNA either. Have a clue! Is this really Jim Broderic??? Because only you and that moron thinks he is guilty.

  11. Rob says:

    Matt the Psycho??? How about a cop arresting you for the crime you didn’t commit, how would you defend yourself? It will be interesting to know your comment.

  12. mark beaver says:

    why doesnt Jim Broderick have a wikipedia page? Mike Nifong and Peggy Hettrick does. He deserves a lifetime of shame for his behavior!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peggy_Hettrick_murder_case

  13. will simmons says:

    Masters is now suing Broderick, prosecutors and county. I’d like to say I hope they get what’s coming to them, but what they really deserve is to have their lives taken away for 10 years like Tim Masters did. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen in civil suits.

  14. retphxfire says:

    Broderick is a classic sociopath, concerned only with his glory and his superiority over mere mortals. Everything this psychological torturer did was immoral. His ego was out of control and an investigation left him off the hook for criminal charges, but the investigation was conducted by a county Prosecutor…how impartial. An impartial investigation is necessary and the Feds SHOULD get involved. The case information we DO have clearly raises suspicions against Broderick and his motives. At the least he should lose his law enforcement credentials and not be allowed to serve in law enforcement, anywhere. However, based on what we DO know, he should be prosecuted in Federal court for his actions.

  15. George says:

    Put Broderick in prison. Sue the city, state and detective Broderick,plus prosecutor. He’s a punk ass cop that wanted headlines. Put him in with bubba and see how he likes it.

  16. Boomer says:

    “The question is – what would motivate an investigator or district attorney to pursue with such veracity a conviction without truly looking at all the evidence – remembering that one is guilty till proven innocent.”

    Chuck,

    Two parts to this. First, Broderick’s motivation, demonstrated clearly in both his testimony, and his preening for the CBS cameras, is ego, pure and simple. He could not stand to ponder the idea that perhaps this 15 year old kid took everything they could throw at him and never cracked, so because Broderick “knew he was right”, he couldn’t accept that there was another possibility, and hounded this kid until he found a prosecutor stupid enough to trust him.

    Cops like Broderick are a perversion of what “law enforcement” is supposed to be all about. In this country you don’t just tell the defense some of what you know or have evidence of, you tell them ALL of it, and it’s pretty clear Broderick withheld a good bit of information, particularly from Dr. Meloy. The only reason you ever do that is because you’re afraid your big case will go up in smoke, and Broderick’s ego just couldn’t stand that.

    Second, I thought in this country you were “innocent until proven guilty”.

    Finally, today, June 20, 2010, is a great day for anyone who gives a hill of beans about truth, and justice. Broderick was indicted for eight counts of perjury. Each count, as it is a class IV felony, carries the possible penalty of 6 years in jail, and a $500K fine. I’m not foolish enough to think Broderick would be convicted on all counts, or sentenced to 48 years and a $4 million fine, but wouldn’t it be a huge shot in the arm for justice if he were?

    I think Broderick belons in Canon City. Cops in jail have a special hell they go through, befitting what they put others through, and I’ve never seen someone in all my 55 years who deserved it more than Jim Broderick.

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