News 05.04.10

Citizens Rally to Remove Colorado Judges for Wrongful Conviction

A group of community members is hoping to remove Larimer County district court judges Terence Gilmore and Jolene Blair from their posts for their roles in the wrongful conviction of Tim Masters, who was exonerated after nearly a decade behind bars. The Coloradoan reports that before Gilmore and Blair were judges, they prosecuted Masters in the 1999 murder case, and they were censured in 2008 by the Colorado Office of Attorney Regulation (OAR) their roles in the case.  OAR found that in Master’s trial, both Gilmore and Blair “directly impaired the proper operation of the criminal justice system.” This fall, residents will vote on whether the judges will keep their jobs. The process usually receives little attention, and voters rely on the recommendation of a commission that reviews judicial performance, according to the Coloradoan. On Monday night, a group of residents met to review the judicial retention process and strategize for taking action. 

At a meeting last month, the commission heard testimony about the judges largely from those in the judicial system who supported Blair and Gilmore.

Among those in attendance Monday were members of Masters’ extended family, including his aunts Juanita Craft and Colleen Masters. Both said they are committed to the long-haul effort to get Blair and Gilmore off the bench.

“We want to keep reminding (people), and we’re going to keep trying everything,” Craft said. “Maybe at voting time, they’ll realize that sometimes it takes the vote to get them out.”

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