BA Psychology – University of Connecticut Two Years Graduate School toward MSW degree Masters in Social Work – Barry University Rehabilitation Counselor – State of Florida
Criminal Defense Investigator Miami Dade County Public Defender Office 1979 Nova University Law School (leave of absence) Present with McGuinness & Associates Private Investigations
QUALITY CONTROL OBLIGATION TO CLIENT PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE USE of QUALIFIED DEFENSE INVESTIGATOR & EXPERTS
RESPONSIBLE FOR: GATHERING THE FACTS REPORTING THEM WITHOUT BIAS TO ATTORNEY REPRESENTING THE CLIENT
Professional Business Like Methodical Thorough
CONSIDERATIONS when retaining a qualified Criminal defense investigator
Should be Case Specific Assess strengths & weaknesses
Issue re: are men more able to go into tough neighborhoods to conduct investigations Issue re: race of investigator as determining factor for selection Issue re: are women better listeners? These are issues that should be addressed Is your investigator your golf buddy or the best choice for the job at hand?
Ask about relevant experience Ask about background Ask what other criminal defense lawyers have used your services Ask about approach to the case at hand IF YOU HAVE A COMPETENT, QUALIFIED INVESTIGATOR, HE OR SHE WILL BE QUITE WILLING TO ANSWER
Primary Interviewing Skills / Techniques Ability to Locate Witnesses Research Backgrounds of witnesses, victims & experts including Social Media Database Search Strategies Public Record Knowledge
Secondary Photography: Digital / 35mm Videography
INTERVIEW TECHNIQUES – A Critical Skill FINGERPRINTS DNA EVIDENCE TRACE EVIDENCE: Hair, Fiber, Tool Mark BLOOD SPATTER CROSS-CONTAMINATION COMPUTER FORENSICS - Tracing
PI Magazine NACDL The Champion Criminal Defense Certification Programs – Consider training and certification
Take a CREATIVE approach to each case Use CREATIVITY if you are gifted in this area OR develop it if you are NOT
If you are an investigator that simply awaits instruction, you are destined to have a mediocre career defendants are not going to get the proper representation that they deserve
EDUCATION If you truly consider yourself a professional investigator then you have to maintain a Continuing Education program If you want to get an edge on the competition then take it upon yourself to constantly educate yourself in a cross- disciplinary method
Working on a bombing case/ Get up to speed: Pick up a copy of the Anarchists Handbook Get online re: IEDs – Improvised Explosive Devices Contact a colleague or contact w/ ATF experience
READ WHAT LAWYERS ARE READING BAR JOURNAL ARTICLES / BOOKS WORKING A CAPITAL DEATH CASE – BE FAMILIAR W/ DEATH ROW ISSUES / LAW
Be familiar with hot button defense issues DNA Exonerations – Barry Scheck, Esq. – The Innocence Project
ANTICIPATE CASE SPECIFIC ISSUES FOCUS ON ISSUES - One at a Time COERCED CONFESSION – Read everything you can on the issue SELF DEFENSE – Know the legal standard Be prepared to discuss w/ Defense Counsel
Be a Utility player - Excel at Interviewing / Obtaining Statements Conducting backgrounds / developing impeachment material for attorney Cost effective witness location
Photography / Videography Have the Necessary Equipment Being a Skilled Witness in Court Demonstrative Evidence Skills – Timelines etc.
Review / Purchase : State Rules of Criminal Procedure Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure Be familiar w/ legal terminology Be familiar w/ basic motions in criminal defense cases: Brady Motions / Motions in Limine
Role of pretext interviews Use of atypical police and public records - Police Incident Reports can be gold Developing information from likeminded or defendant sympathizers The Doorknock approach – a vanishing art
There is so much to KNOW in the investigative field To be a well rounded investigator means a well READ investigator Spend the money, it will pay off Purchase books, subscribe to magazines, professional journals Reference Books – use as needed
Research online subjects such as blood spatter on search engines Google Check results against online Booksellers ex. Amazon.com Review – Online: Table of Contents, Index Critiques Check Library for book – review before buy Contact professionals in the field for recommendations
RECOMMENDED~READING The Investigative Reporters Handbook, Fourth Edition A Guide to Documents, Databases and Techniques By Brant Houston, Len Bruzzese and Steve Weinberg Check
RECOMMENDED READING : Advanced Forensic Criminal Defense Investigations Editor: Grace Castle Co-Author: Paul J. Ciolino Lawyers and Judges Publishing
William F. Blake Publisher: Thomas 26 Chapters including: * Homicide & Questionable Death * Basic to Advanced Skip Tracing * The Art of the Background
William F. Blake – Thomas Publishers Capital Defense Investigation Polygraph Examination Defending the Criminally Accused Internet Profiling Computer Forensics
Forensic Science: An Introduction to Scientific and Investigative Techniques Second Edition by Stuart H. James and John Nordby CRC Press Chapter Honorable Mention: Techniques of DNA Analysis
Death Investigators Handbook By Louis N. Eliopulos 8 1/2 x 11, softcover, photos, illus., 976 pp.
Important move will attenuate War on Drugs while wresting undue power from prosecutors' hands
Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday that the Department of Justice (DOJ) aimed to overhaul federal minimum sentencing laws, particularly to help those facing low-level drug charges from facing prosecution and lengthy minimum jail-time. During an American Bar Association speech Monday, Holder plans to say: Today, a vicious cycle of poverty, criminality, and incarceration traps too many Americans and weakens too many communities… However, many aspects of our criminal justice system may actually exacerbate this problem, rather than alleviate it.Bar Association criminal justice
The New York Times noted on Holders prepared remarks that he plans to detail the extent of the over- incarcertion rate and its roots in the War on Drugs. The A.G. will comment that while the American population has grown by about a third since 1980, its prison rate has increased nearly 800 percent.noted At the federal level, more than 219,000 inmates are currently behind bars nearly half for drug-related crimes and the prisons are operating at nearly 40 percent above their official capacity.
Police mini-helicopter spy drones FAA required Certificates of Authorization (COA) for drones that fly above 400 ft. GPS-cellular phones – we all have had cases where its an issue GPS Tracking devices on vehicles : Police / Private
The Spy Drone that looks as if it has come direct from a Star Wars movie can: Travel at 57mph Reach an altitude of 10,500 feet.
PR New Wire - Source - ReutersReuters Miami Dade police get all the best gadgets, just watch an episode of CSI Miami and you will see what I mean. Well it now looks as if this U.S. police force is about to take possession of these Spy Drones. These Honeywell Micro Air Vehicles has forward and downward looking cameras and can set 100 different way points.
Cellular telephone geo-location by police Digital records can hurt and help the defense Bar code readers in parking lots Manual car tag tabulation at airports SunPass / EasyPass records: time and location of exits
Wearing a wire –from actual metal wire to fabric weaves (wireless) that are 87% lighter and 26 times stronger than cooper wire Video Surveillance – security cameras, license plate scanners – Boston Marathon Bombers captured on video TLO New license plate tracking search
Everybody knows that wire tapping is an extremely useful tool for police agencies around the world. Getting a witness or an undercover agent to wear a wire on a meeting with a crime boss is something else. It's very risky for the cop and very easy for the bad guys to find a wire stuck to the body with duct tape. But a NASA sponsored technology is about to change the famous Hollywood quote to "wearing a wireless."
The new technology is called AmberStrand and it's a spool metal wiring. AmerStrand is a trademark of Syscom Technology Inc. sponsored by NASA, it's made of conductive fibers forming a web-like pattern, which are more lightweight and flexible
Metal wire connected to battery operated recording device