Wrongful Conviction Day

Hello everyone. I know it’s been a while since our last post, but Kim and I have been very busy trying to free the wrongfully convicted. Yesterday was National Wrongful Conviction Day and we would like to take a few minutes to reflect on that.

According to the National Registry of Exonerations as of today there have been 2,101 exonerations, totaling more than 18,250 years lost.

In a Special Edition of Time Magazine they illustrate why falsely accused people are being exonerated today more than ever before.

Time Magazine

Kim and I are proud to say that we were able to successfully obtain the exonerations of Jonathan Fleming and Randy Williams.

Jonathan Fleming, Management Resources, wrongful conviction

Jonathan Fleming greeting his mother after release (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Jonathan Fleming was wrongfully convicted and served 24 years 7 mos and 20 days.

 

Randy Williams charges dismissedRandy Williams with his mother after his release

Randy Williams was wrongfully convicted and served 10 years.

Kim and I are actively working 3 new wrongful conviction cases and hope for a successful conclusion to these as well.

Please take a moment to review the links above to fully grasp the magnitude of this problem.

Visit us at Management Resources of NY

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Posted in Criminal Defense Investigations

Personal Injury Investigations: Wrongful Death and why you need a private investigator

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By definition, a wrongful death is the result of a wrongful act or negligence of a person, or entity, which caused a death and is filed as a civil lawsuit. A wrongful death suit is sometimes filed if a criminal action has failed to bring about a conviction.

Furthermore, there are several types of wrongful deaths:

Malpractice / Medical Investigations: These investigations often focus on wrongful death caused by medical negligence and incorrect medical treatment.

Workplace Investigations: Industrial accident investigations are motivated by deaths caused by company negligence or company mismanagement.

Products Liability Investigations: These investigations find wrongful deaths caused by badly-designed and poorly-tested consumer goods.

Accident Investigations / Criminal Investigations: These investigations uncover criminal responsibility for a wrongful death as well as for a crime.

 

How do you know you have a wrongful death suit?

Determining if there is a wrongful death relies on evidence uncovered and analyzed by investigators who have the tools and experience to best advise their client and/or their attorney. A private investigator can use their expertise in technology, as well as gather witness testimony or physical, forensic, and medical evidence.

Occasionally, a wrongful death is discovered by investigators involved with another type of investigation like an accident, personal injury, or homicide. The evidence collected would subsequently be turned over to the client’s attorney for filing legal claims and determining compensation.

Compensation

Clients filing a wrongful death civil lawsuit are entitled to compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. Although each lawsuit will be different, as well as subject to applicable state laws, the type of compensation will depend on the specific facts of the case.

Some examples of compensation include:

Economic damages:

  • The victim’s income capacity for a projected lifespan;
  • Services performed by the victim that now must be performed by another person;
  • Gifts that the victim would likely have bestowed upon the survivor had the decedent been alive; and
  • Medical, hospital, and funeral expenses.

Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering:

  • The loss of the victim’s companionship, advice, love, and moral support;
  • The loss of sexual relations between married spouses;

The role of a private investigator in wrongful death investigation

A wrongful death lawsuit has a statute of limitations specified by each state’s law, usually two years. If a lawsuit is not filed within the time limit, you lose your right to file a legal claim. It’s imperative to find out if you have enough proof to pursue a wrongful death claim.

A private investigator who has experience in collecting the proper evidence to prove your case will turn it over to your attorney who can quickly assess if it is worth pursuing.

When you have the necessary proof, and engage a personal injury attorney, the private investigator should then be a part of the legal team. Their findings become part of the attorney work product where opinions, theories, and strategies are protected.

Management Resources of New York has experience in all types of personal injury cases and we would be pleased to help you with your investigative needs.


NJ Investigator of the Year Award, Management ResourcesManagement Resources of New York is a professional investigative firm licensed in New York and New Jersey, members of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Associated Licensed Detectives of New York, and Founding Members and Regional Directors of Investigating Innocence.

Bob Rahn and Kim Anklin are available for interviews or speaking engagements.Contact ImaginePublicity at 843-808-08509 or email contact@imaginepublicity.com

 

 

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Posted in Personal Injury Investigations

Personal Injury Investigations: Workplace

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A work related injury or illness which occurs as the result of events in the work environment are typically covered under the employer’s worker’s compensation insurance. However, there are exceptions and in some cases an employee may sue for damages caused by those injuries.

Once avenues are pursued through insurance companies and employer negotiations, an employee may exercise the right to file a civil suit. It is recommended they have the assistance of a personal injury attorney.

Why would a client need an investigator to work with their attorney in a personal injury claim? 

An accomplished private investigator working with an attorney can provide invaluable help to the case throughout the settlement or litigation process.

An investigator can work for either plaintiff attorneys or defense attorneys to provide unbiased information, documents, and witness testimony. They can supply the needed information to establish liability in the claim and help determine whether it should move forward towards a settlement or trial.

Experienced investigators can best document and analyze information for all legal and regulatory entities and, whether used in court or not, the evidence furnished will expedite the case. The quality of the investigation can often determine the outcome of the client’s claim.

personal-injury-lawyer

Beyond worker’s compensation

Most employers are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance, but according to an attorney advice website, “Although workers’ compensation can provide money and benefits to an injured worker, temporary disability and permanent disability payments are usually quite low and don’t compensate the worker for things like pain and suffering. Workers’ compensation also does not provide punitive damages to punish an employer for poor safety controls or dangerous conditions. That’s why it’s important for injured workers to understand their rights to bring a case outside of the workers’ compensation system.” (NOLO)

If an employee feels they are entitled to file a claim or civil suit due to negligence of an employer, the burden of proof is on them to show fault. With the support of a competent investigator, the evidence collected will aid in building the case properly and legally.

A personal injury attorney will screen all cases and know if a client is exaggerating their claims. Once again, the investigator will interview witnesses, doctors, and co-workers that can provide information regarding the client’s character, work ethic and honesty to lend credibility to the claim should it go to court.

Management Resources of NY has over 20 years experience in the field of personal injury investigations and work with attorneys to provide the best possible solution to their cases.


NJ Investigator of the Year Award, Management ResourcesManagement Resources of New York is a professional investigative firm licensed in New York and New Jersey, members of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Associated Licensed Detectives of New York, and Founding Members and Regional Directors of Investigating Innocence.

Bob Rahn and Kim Anklin are available for interviews or speaking engagements.Contact ImaginePublicity at 843-808-08509 or email contact@imaginepublicity.com

 

 

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Posted in Civil Investigations

False Arrests and Abuse of the Fourth Amendment

Under Arrest

When a citizen is detained, and an officer acts under the assumption of legal authority to prevent them liberty of movement while conducting a search of their person or property, is one example of abuse of the Fourth Amendment . In order for the officer to conduct a search, or detain a person, there must be probable cause that the person has acted illegally.

While the majority of officers follow the laws they are sworn to uphold, there are pockets of jurisdictions where abuses occur on a regular basis. One such report from Evangeline Parish in Louisiana tells of arrests being made based on hunches, with citizens being detained, searched, and kept from contacting family or attorneys.

The procedures practiced in Evangeline Parish were justified by officers as a way to get information about other crimes from someone they “suspected” might know something, and has been going on for a very long time. In fact, anyone in the area could be held or arrested giving rise to the possibility of a false confession and potentially being wrongfully convicted, blatantly violating their Constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment.

False Arrest or Human Error?

Officers are human, mistakes can made, and there are specific requirements in place to determine whether a false arrest has been made.

The first requirement is that the officer used force or show of authority to restrain the citizen. This means that the person who arrests you must claim to be an officer or to have the authority to arrest you. An example of meeting this first requirement would be a sworn police officer arresting a shoplifter.

The second requirement is that the you must believe that you are not free to leave. This means that you must feel you have no choice except to do what the officer asks. For example, if the officer places you in handcuffs or locks you in a room then you obviously are not free to leave. But if the officer asks you to come voluntarily or mentions that you are not under arrest, you do not have to go with them. If you do, then you may have a difficult time proving false arrest.

The third requirement is that the officer intentionally restricted your freedom of movement without probable cause. In other words, the officer meant to arrest you knowing that there was no legitimate reason to arrest you.    (FreeAdvice, Legal)

In recent years, more police jurisdictions are calling for accountability of those officers who abuse their authority and cost agencies large sums of money in civil liability lawsuits.

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One organization, The National Police Accountability (NPAP), was started with the intention of ending law enforcement’s abuse of authority and gives guidance and support to groups fighting police misconduct.

As well deserved large settlements are paid to exonerees who were wrongfully convicted, and those falsely arrested, the general public is becoming outraged, sparking demonstrations and protests, and yet, the practice continues.

We are proud to live in a country which supports a Constitutional amendment to protect its citizens from illegal search and seizure, however, when blatant abuse of this protective amendment happens, it weakens the position of the very people who should be safeguarded.

One key to preventing wrongful convictions is to hold the officers and prosecutors accountable. Their unlawful behavior makes the honest, hardworking, dedicated ones look bad.

(*photo from Flickr Media Commons)


NJ Investigator of the Year Award, Management ResourcesManagement Resources of New York is a professional investigative firm licensed in New York and New Jersey, members of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Associated Licensed Detectives of New York, and Founding Members and Regional Directors of Investigating Innocence.

Bob Rahn and Kim Anklin are available for interviews or speaking engagements.Contact ImaginePublicity at 843-808-08509 or email contact@imaginepublicity.com

 

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Posted in Wrongful Convictions

What Makes a Good Prosecutor go Bad?

Justice

Prosecuting attorneys are hired to represent the state in the effort to convict those who commit criminal acts, however, sometimes the lines of ethics and responsibility are crossed.

Recently, a high ranking prosecutor in the Brooklyn, NY district attorney’s office, betrayed her oath with charges that she forged several judges’ signatures on 20 wiretap orders. Tara Lenich allegedly committed the crime to listen in on conversations of a love interest.

It’s stated that Lenich’s record in office was clean and she was known for her “superior work.” Lenich once led the Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau. (NYDailyNews) Although afforded the presumption of innocence, she is now the subject of detailed scrutiny during an investigation conducted by the very office in which she worked.

Tara Lenich

(*photo New York Daily News)

On the surface, Lenich’s wrongdoing appears to be an act of personal selfishness, but the entirety of her career and cases of defendants she prosecuted will presumably be examined for any further misconduct.

What happens when misconduct by prosecutors is uncovered? In this case, Tara Lenich has been arrested and charged; she will have her day in court. But, oftentimes, there is no accountability for even worse cases of unethical behavior by prosecutors who wield tremendous power in the judicial system.

A prosecutor’s distinctive role within the criminal justice system requires them to vigorously represent the state in seeking justice and upholding the rights of victims. However, when the moral and ethical line is blurred, it raises issues at the intersection of the state’s interests and the rights of the victims. This is the point where the prosecutor has to decide whether a case is winnable, and at what cost.

The cost of winning is where some prosecutor’s decision making process takes a turn and  commonly the win is more important than justice they are sworn to uphold. Too many times a person is convicted of a crime they didn’t commit because an overzealous prosecutor is more interested in furthering their career than the rights of the victim to fair and balanced justice.

Very little exists in the way of accountability for abuse of power and blatant misconduct of prosecutors. In recent years states are beginning to work for changes in the system by creating commissions to investigate and penalize prosecutors for violating the rules of the court.

New York has introduced legislation to create a commission to investigate and discipline acts of prosecutorial misconduct in an effort to enhance the public’s confidence in the integrity of criminal prosecutions and safeguarding the rights of all. (The Daily Beast)

In Tara Lenich’s case, she willingly took a pen in her hand and forged warrants in the name of assorted judges. Her reasons are her own, but her actions show that over a period of almost two years she abused the power bestowed to her with trust. And what about her victims? Where were their rights?


NJ Investigator of the Year Award, Management ResourcesManagement Resources of New York is a professional investigative firm licensed in New York and New Jersey, members of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Associated Licensed Detectives of New York, and Founding Members and Regional Directors of Investigating Innocence.

Bob Rahn and Kim Anklin are available for interviews or speaking engagements.Contact ImaginePublicity at 843-808-08509 or email contact@imaginepublicity.com

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Posted in Criminal Defense Investigations

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Members of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
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investigating innocence, management resources, bill clutter, bob rahn, kim anklin