By Tina M. Skirvin, CCDI
The criminal defense investigator plays an invaluable role within the criminal justice system. While diligently assisting defense counsel in uncovering reasonable doubt on behalf of the accused, the criminal defense investigator's main objective must be to seek and uncover the truth. In order to serve the criminal justice system most effectively, an investigator must remember to remain unbiased during the course of an investigation and to maintain an ample distance from the emotional aspect. Becoming too emotionally attached or opinionated can alter the appropriate avenues which the investigator should follow.
The Component Method provided in Brandon A. Perron's book titled "Uncovering Reasonable Doubt" outlines a practical and effective process for accomplishing a thorough criminal defense investigation. An in-depth review of the discovery file, police reports, witness statements, crime scene examination and lab results is crucial at the beginning of an investigation. This will provide the investigator with an understanding of the allegations and representation of the facts associated with the case. Most importantly, it will allow the investigator to examine the prosecutor's evidence that has been discovered thus far, prepare timelines of important events and formulate a strategy of defense.
The defendant should understand in the beginning that the information shared with the investigator is confidential, protected by the attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine. The initial defendant interview should be professional, productive and comfortable. A positive relationship between... Read More