FOR 30 YEARS I'VE LIVED IN THE SAME CITIES AS MS. SHIELDS. THE ONLY ISSUE WAS WHEN SHE MOVED WITHIN 2BLOCKS OF ME AND I SAW HER IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD- MAYBE 4TIMES.. AND THE ONE TIME I PARK ON HER STREET...
AT THE TIME, WE WERE WORKING WITH NEWTOWN, CT BUILDING WHAT IS NOW THE NEWTOWN COMMUNITY CENTER. THE COMMUNICATION TO MS SHIELDS WAS AN INVITE 2A HALLMARK CARDS SPONSORED ANNIVERSARY TREE TRIMMING EVENT IN NEWTOWN, CT.
THE SAME LETTER WAS SENT TO 4NEIGHBORS- AND NOT MS. SHIELDS' CHILDREN.. .
P E R J U R Y- MS. SHIELDS LIED IN COURT.
FOUND GUILTY Brooke Shields’ stalker sentenced to 60 days in jail after actress is on verge of tears in court. John Rinaldi tried to give stuffed teddy bears to star's daughters and bombarded her with fan mail and Twitter messages
ZOE NAUMAN IS A HACK WRITER.
18th June 2016, 2:17 am
Updated: 18th June 2016, 8:22 am
For 2years I was offered a disorderly conduct if I WOULD ACCEPT A PLEA + liE under oath.
BUT I WOULD NOT GIVE in to the STACKED charges.
IF A CHILD IS EVER INVOLVED YOU DONT OFFER A PLEA- THAT IN ITSELF IS IRRESPONSIBLE.
Ms. SHIELDS TESTIFIED IN COURT THAT SHE HAD FILED A COMPLAINT BECAUSE I HAD PARKED THE 1x IN FRONT OF HER HOUSE- WHEN IN ACTUALITY IT WAS AFTER I TOOK @SOCIAL MEDIA 2COMPLAIN ABOUT HER ASSISTANT. I THEN DEFENDED MYSELF AND THEN IN TURN INCREASED IT TO HARASSMENT.
THEY ONLY STATED THAT I TARGETED HER CHILDREN BECAUSE I WOULDN'T ACCEPT A PLEA/LIE.
I DID WRITE FAN LETTERS WHEN I WAS 13- NOT AS AN ADULT. AND CERTAINLY NOT PAST 16. Ms. Shields believes some 2998 ARE FANATICS. See court transcripts.
The stuffed bear- the 1 in question was sent to Ms. Shields from a team of 3 from Newtown, CT- AND NOT ADDRESSED to HER children. See letter.
A MAN who was charged with stalking and harassing actress Brooke Shields has been sentenced to 60 days in jail.
John Rinaldi was found guilty by a court in Manhattan, New York on Friday.
ADA SUBORNED PERJURY. Ms. Shields + Chris Henche was found to be NON CREDIBLE.
A man who was charged with stalking and harassing actress Brooke Shields has been sentenced to 60 days in jail.
Profess Stalking to Control.
ACCORDING 2THE CDC, THERE ARE 7.5 MILLION HARASSMENT/ STALKING CASES REPORTED EACH YEAR. APPROXIMATELY 11.5 % ARE OVERTURNED BASED ON PERJURED TESTIMONY.
He has been told he has to avoid all contact with the actress and her family, and she is not allowed to go near her home in Greenwich Village.
Rinaldi was convicted by Judge Kevin McGrath of stalking and harassment.
I PLEAD WITH THE COURT 2 INCREASE IT TO 50YEARS- IT WASN'T A PROBLEM. SHES A SOCIOPATH AND I DON'T TRUST HER 2 TELL THE TRUTH.
Judge McGrath DIDNT HEAR ANY DEFENSE BECAUSE HE WAS TO BE ON VACATION THAT WEEK AND WOULDN'T CONTINUE TO MONDAY.
Legal Aid Defense Lawyer had less than 30 Days + Did Not call Newtown, CT families + friends.
John Rinaldi was found guilty by a court in Manhattan, New York on Friday
The court papers claimed that the 49-year-old had been stalking the star since around 2003, and had tried to give her daughters teddy bears.
MS SHIELDS PERJURED HERSELF THE ENTIRE 2DAYS. MS. SHIELDS ALSO RECREATED THE SUPPOSED EVENTS AND MANY I WAS NOT EVEN IN THE CITY.
The court case has been ongoing all week – Shields took the stand on Tuesday and was on the verge of tears as she explained she worried about the concerned for her family and their safety.
At the non-jury trial Rinaldi’s lawyer claimed he had enjoyed a long friendship with the star’s mother Teri, who died in 2012.
He has been told he has to avoid all contact with the actress and her family, and she is not allowed to go near her home in Greenwich Village – Shields was on the verge of tears as she took the stand
However the New York Post reported Shields said: “She was a woman with dementia and alcoholism.
“She gathered people. If you were more broken down, if you were homeless, if you were, whatever, she brought you into the fray. She wanted to be a saviour for everyone.”
Shields went on to sat she had tried to be polite to Rinaldi, but in the end spoke to her husband Chris Henchy to see if he could talk to him.
She recalled: “My husband said, ‘You’re freaking my kids out. You got to stop, you got to back off!’”
THIS NEVER HAPPENED. IT WAS HOWEVER A GREAT CALCULATED MOVE. THIS HAS BEEN PROVEN FALSE AS WELL.
The court papers claimed that the 49-year-old had been stalking the star since around 2003, and had tried to give her daughters teddy bears
However, it was a few months later that he appeared at the star’s home with a picture frame, which was originally from her mother, who had made it for Shields on her 18th birthday.
NOT TRUE, SHE PASSED ME IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD OF 20YEARS, AND I FISHED IT OUT OF MY BAG
TERI SHIELDS GAVE ME A PICTURE OF BROOKE AGED 2 1/2. I SIMPLY RETURNED IT
The star, on the stand, tried not to cry as she said: “Instead of giving it to me, he said, ‘I want Rowan (her daughter) to have it.’”
ANNOUNCING WAS SEEMINGLY MORE RESPECTFUL.
SHE WAS NEVER IN TEARS. IN FACT SHE MADE FUN OF THE ABUSED AND LIED TO THE COURT SYSTEMICALLY.
LEGAL AID HEAD LISA WILLIAMS CALLED MS. SHIELDS A SOCIOPATH.
Rinaldi was also allegedly sending messages via Twitter and letters, the content of which she was unhappy with.
PEOPLE SHOULD NOT FILE FALSE POLICE REPORTS.
Rinaldi claimed he had been friends with Shields mother Teri, who died in 2012
her home – the star’s name was written in dirt on the back window of his Audi.
MR. HENCHE CONFIRMED IN COURT THAT IT WAS AN INSIDE JOKE- WHICH IT WAS.
She said: “It was a copy of my signature and I said, ‘This is beyond disturbing and creepy.’”
When she returned home later that night from a charity event, he was still there, looking for things in his car.
It was at this point she decided to take action.
MS. SHIELDS ASSISTANT VANDALIZED MY CAR. I WENT 2SOCIAL MEDIA-THAT IS WHY SHE WENT TO THE POLICE. EVEN THEN SHE WASNT SURE IF SHE SHOULD.
The New York Post also reported Shields spoke about an incident in May when he was parked outside
Rinaldi’s lawyer claimed in court on Monday: ‘His actions in this case, socially inept perhaps, but the one thing that you can’t say about Mr. Rinaldi is that his acts are such that they rise to the level of criminality under any circumstance.”
ATTORNEY JON STOMBELY PREPARED THE CASE IN LESS THAN 30 DAYS. I MET WITH HIM 3x. HE'S INCOMPETENT.
MORE FROM THE SUN
Hypervigilance and Highly Sensitive People
The idea of the “sensitive artist” may be a cliche, but still basically true. Sometimes high sensitivity may be based on or intensified from difficult or hurtful situations.
To fuel creative expression requires that we have an ability to be in touch with internal and external feelings and sensations.
As Michael Eigen, PhD, author of the book The Sensitive Self, puts it, “Thinking and feeling are ways sensitivity unfolds or grows… without the sensory sea we take for granted, feeling and thought would dry up and die.”
From his article Sensitivity (an excerpt from his book).
But there are different forms of high sensitivity.
A Success magazine article reported that Ashley Judd to a large extent had a very unsafe childhood, “But that doesn’t mean my parents didn’t love me,” she says, “because, of course, they did. I can say this with genuine, heartfelt clarity; they did absolutely the best they could with what they had at the time.”
The article continues, “Sometimes that wasn’t good enough, she admits. In her early years she was shuttled to as many as 13 different schools in 12 years, alternately living with her mother, her father and her grandmother.
“She became what she calls a ‘hypervigilant child,’ raising herself under unpredictable circumstances, becoming lonely, depressed, isolated—all feelings she kept under wraps for years.”
She entered a treatment program in 2006.
“All I know is that I am grateful now for those experiences because I had the opportunity to do a lot of healing work on myself, and that has endowed me with a fairly awesome capacity for compassion and empathy.”
“Her focus these days is an organization called Population Services International (PSI), a nonprofit organization with grassroots health programs in 65 developing countries that is focused on prevention and treatment.”
From article Just Like Us – “Ashley Judd brings hope to the world’s most impoverished,” Success magazine success.com May 2009.
Judd also relates being “a hyper-vigilant child” to “always striving to be perfect” – another issue for personal development that affects many gifted adults.
“A wonderful pastor once told me, perfectionism is the highest order of self-abuse,” she said. “So now I try to remind myself that if I engage in perfectionism, I am abusing myself. Period.”
From post Ashley Judd and working in creative flow
A summary definition of hypervigilance is provided by Wikipedia as “an enhanced state of sensory sensitivity accompanied by an exaggerated intensity of behaviors whose purpose is to detect threats.
“Hypervigilance is also accompanied by a state of increased anxiety which can cause exhaustion.
“Other symptoms include: abnormally increased arousal, a high responsiveness to stimuli and a constant scanning of the environment for threats. Hypervigilance is a symptom of posttraumatic stress disorder.”
But hypervigilance is not the form of high sensitivity that is probably most associated with creative expression.
Therapist Susan Meindl notes that intensity is often a feature of creative individuals, plus “a low sensory threshold (ie: stimulation cannot be stopped from entering) – strong reactions to sensory stimuli.
“High sensitivity easily leads towards excitability and individuals often respond with strategies intended to manage and control their level of stimulation.
“Some of these attempts to live life in response to a sensitive temperament may appear eccentric or cause problems for others… but sensitivity also opens up pathways towards the important and highly valued human ability to create and also to live creatively.”
From her article Highly Sensitive Persons – High Sensitivity and Creative Ability.
For help with anxiety, see the Anxiety Relief Solutions site.
For more on being a highly sensitive person and using the trait for creative expression, see the list of posts on the TalentDevelop site, and list of Highly Sensitive articles.
Ashley Judd: “If I engage in perfectionism, I am abusing myself”]
Sneaky Ways Advertisers Target Kids
More than ever before, advertising and entertainment are inextricably linked.
Caroline Knorr Senior Parenting Editor | Mom of one2/7/2014Categories: Marketing to Kids
Senior Parenting Editor | Mom of oneYou might think you're hip to the tricks that advertisers use to reach kids online. You've seen the ads that play before online games. You know about the flashing banner ads, the contests, the sweepstakes, and even the sponsored Google links that match your search terms. But as technology advances -- and kids gravitate toward new programs and digital devices -- advertisers have found sneakier ways to capture kids' attention.
So how are your kids being targeted?
Advertisers know that the earlier a child learns about a brand, the more likely they will be to buy it later (or beg their parents to buy it). And children under 7 can’t tell the difference between advertising and entertainment. Helping kids understand how advertising works can help protect them from being exploited. (Visit Admongo, the FTC's ad-education site, for more ways to help kids get ad-savvy.)
Also, talk to your kid about protecting his or her online privacy. Kids give advertisers lots of information just by downloading an app or clicking on a sweepstakes. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare are conjuring up ways to make money off the behavioral data they can collect on kids. While you can't protect your kid from preying advertisers entirely, you can help them limit their privacy vulnerabilities -- and cultivate a healthy sense of skepticism toward advertising.
TrialAfter many weeks or months of preparation, the prosecutor is ready for the most important part of his job: the trial. The trial is a structured process where the facts of a case are presented to a jury, and they decide if the defendant is guilty or not guilty of the charge offered. During trial, the prosecutor uses witnesses and evidence to prove to the jury that the defendant committed the crime(s). The defendant, represented by an attorney, also tells his side of the story using witnesses and evidence.
In a trial, the judge — the impartial person in charge of the trial — decides what evidence can be shown to the jury. A judge is similar to a referee in a game, he’s not there to play for one side or the other but to make sure the entire process is played fairly.
Jury SelectionAt trial, one of the first things a prosecutor and defense attorney must do is the selection of jurors for the case. Jurors are selected to listen to the facts of the case and to determine if the defendant committed the crime. Twelve jurors are selected randomly from the jury pool (also called the “venire”), a list of potential jurors compiled from voter registration records of people living in the Federal district.
When selecting the jury, the prosecutor and defense attorney may not discriminate against any group of people. For example, the judge will not allow them to select only men or only women. A jury should represent all types of people, races, and cultures. Both lawyers are allowed to ask questions about their potential biases and may excuse jurors from service. Each side is allowed to excuse certain potential jurors without providing a reason by using a limited number of “peremptory challenges.”
Opening StatementsOpening statements allow the prosecutor and the defense attorney to briefly tell their account of the events. These statements usually are short like an outline and do not involve witnesses or evidence. The prosecutor makes an opening statement first because the Government has the burden of proving that the defendant committed the crime.
Presentment of CasesWitness Examination
Following opening statements, the prosecutor begins direct examination of his first witness. This is the prosecutor’s initial step in attempting to prove the case, and it can last from a few minutes to several days. During direct examination, the prosecutor can introduce evidence such as a weapon or something from the crime scene.
Following the prosecutor’s examination of a witness, the defense attorney has an opportunity to cross examine or ask questions to the same witness. The purpose of cross examination is to create doubt as to the credibility of the witness.
After the defense attorney cross examines the witness, the prosecutor asks the witness final questions to clarify any confusing testimony for the jury. This is called redirect examination. Once the process of direct examination, cross examination, and redirect of all the witnesses is complete, the prosecutor rests his case. After the prosecutor rests, no more witnesses can be called to the stand or evidence introduced by the government.
After the Government rests, the defense has the opportunity to present witnesses and evidence to the jury. The defense also has the option of not having the defendant testify. There is no burden upon the defendant to prove that he is innocent. It is the government's responsibility to prove the defendant committed the crime as detailed in the indictment. The fact that a defendant did not testify may not be considered by the jury as proof that the defendant committed the crime. The defense may also waive his case. If the defense does not put on any evidence, the jury cannot assume that the defendant is guilty simply because they did not put on a defense. The decision to put on a defense is solely up to the defendant and the defense attorney. However, the defense will usually present its own version of the case.
During direct or cross examination, either attorney can make an objection to a question or a piece of evidence to the judge. For example, a prosecutor or defense attorney may object to the wide range of the direct examination because it is beyond the knowledge of the witness, the attorney may be arguing with the witness rather than asking questions, or the witness may be talking about things irrelevant to the case.
Common objections include:
After the defense’s direct testimony and cross examination by the prosecutor of all the witnesses, the defense rests, and the prosecutor and defense attorney prepare for closing arguments.
Closing arguments are the final opportunity for the prosecutor and the defense attorney to talk to the jury. These arguments allow both attorneys to summarize the testimony and evidence, and ask the jury to return a verdict of guilty or not guilty.
Jury InstructionsFollowing the closing arguments, the judge “charges the jury,” or informs them of the appropriate law and of what they must do to reach a verdict.
Jury Deliberations & Announcement of the VerdictAfter being charged, the jury goes into deliberation, the process of deciding whether a defendant is guilty or not guilty. During this process, no one associated with the trial can contact the jury without the judges and lawyers. If the jury has a question on the law, they must write a note to the judge, which the judge will read in court with all parties present. In federal criminal trials, the jury must reach a unanimous decision in order to convict the defendant.
After they reach an agreement on a verdict, they notify the judge, the lawyers, and the defendant in open court. Everyone is present in court for the reading of the verdict. The United States Marshals Service is present during trial to protect the judge and prosecutors from potential harm. If the defendant is found not guilty, they are usually free to go home.
Preparation is the key to a successful witness interview and statement, so make it a point to adequately prepare prior to the interview.
Review and Preparation
A complete list of witnesses should be made containing all their:
The list will aid the defense investigator when conducting the investigation, providing updates to the attorney-client, and preparing for trial.
A witness evaluation sheet should be prepared for each and every witness:
If there were eyewitnesses to the incident.
****Keep in mind that not all eyewitnesses may have been interviewed and/or made statements by the investigating authorities.
The defense investigator should have a definite systematic approach and theory to interviewing any witness, especially eyewitnesses, having knowledge about the incident and have provided statements to the police. The most popular theory and rule of thumb is not to interview/statementize a witness that has provided a statement to the police until their police statement(s) has been obtained, reviewed, compared with other statements, highlighted and outlined for inconsistencies, and the observations of the witness contained within the statement have been analyzed with information extracted from the discovery materials, scene investigation, and physical evidence gathered. Do everything necessary to follow the rule, but in some cases it will not be practical or expedient to do so. In those cases, discuss the matter with defense counsel before any contact is made. Be sure to remember that the defense investigator must always keep in mind the legal elements of the charges and the conditions that must be met by the prosecution in order to satisfy the elements when conducting file reviews prior to interviewing witnesses.
Never assume that the information contained within an existing witness statement taken by police personnel is totally accurate, particularly if the statement is not signed. Most often, these statements have been reduced to typewritten, question and answer or narrative form and are usually done by the police investigator. They almost never contain the exact words of the witness and are sometimes highly suggestive. Audio recorded statements of witnesses by police is not standard practice, but don't rule it out; if they do exist, get copies of the tapes themselves and have them transcribed, if necessary, after listening to the statement. It has been the experience of many criminal defense investigators that witnesses seldom read the entire police authored witness statement, if at all, that they are requested to sign after it has been produced. Even though the statement might indicate that the witness read the statement and it is true and correct, don't assume they read it. Witnesses, especially eyewitnesses, are oftentimes very tired and emotionally and physically drained from the sequence of events they have experienced and can't wait to leave the police station where witness statements are usually taken. The point is to always be aware of these potential problems in police authored witness statements and to question the witness with regard to the accuracy of the original statement as to whether or not it is completely true, half true, or not at all true; or is it the author's own statement of what theywanted the witness to say? Stay alert to this because a potentially damaging statement may be ruled to be spoiled and therefore unusable for impeachment purposes for any one of the above reasons.
When the defense investigator is prepared to meet and interview the witness, serious consideration should be given as to the venue. It is almost always better for the witness to be interviewed out of his or her own environment and surroundings. The criminal scene is the best location to conduct the interview if it is available, accessible, and provides an environment free from any major distractions. But many times it is not. If the scene is not a likely location to conduct the interview, make every attempt to bring the witness into the defense investigators’ or a neutral environment. If the witness is reluctant to provide an interview at any other location other than their home or workplace, by all means assent to their request. Don't do anything that will agitate the witness and thereby decrease the odds of establishing a friendly rapport. In fact, when initial contact has been made with the witness, the defense investigator should be friendly yet professional and show a sincere interest in the witness and the witness’s family, house, occupation and employer, hobbies, etc..... Additionally, provide the witness with full identification and a business card.
Treat all witnesses with respect no matter what the circumstance; don't talk down to them; educate them
about the situation within reasonable bounds, disclosing as little information as possible; and above all, do not lie to them!
The primary purpose of a witness interview is to determine if an individual made pertinent observations of an incident or event and has relevant, material, and useful information to provide. The secondary purpose flows from the first and that is to obtain a defense witness statement if and only if the witness does have relevant, material, and useful information to provide; information that will help bring into focus the true facts and conditions of the incident, corroborates or seemingly corroborates the defendant's version of the incident, and brings the defense team closer or to a point where an effective defense strategy can be molded.
During the witness interview, the defense investigator must address five primary concerns and those are what the witness observed through the five human senses: sight; hearing; smell; taste; touch. Do not take the direct approach when initially interviewing the witness. Use the indirect, conversational method and let the witness talk freely about their observations. They are much more likely to provide information when they are being treated friendly than if they think they are being interrogated. Listen to what the witness has to say without interruption. If the witness stops talking before finishing the story for no apparent reason, use filler encouragement and prompts like " wow, I certainly appreciate you sharing this information with me, but did the screaming end at that point- What happened next?". The " what happened next?" question is one of the most powerful open ended questions an investigator can employ during the indirect interview to prompt continued conversation of the witness. Take very detailed notes on the content of the witness’s observations if and only if the witness is not intimidated or agitated by the note taking. It might be a good idea to ask the witness if note taking would be a distraction. More times than not, the witness will allow it.
After the initial conversation has concluded, the witness should be asked if they mind answering some additional questions to clarify what the witness said during the indirect interview. After permission is given, the defense investigator must extract as much information about the sequence of events that led to the incident and about the facts specific of the incident itself, keeping the legal elements of the charges in mind. This is your golden opportunity to direct the interview. Some examples of the essential directed question categories that should be asked about when a victim has been assaulted, injured, or killed are as follows: where was the witness located and what were they doing prior to the incident and with whom; alcohol and drug use; the witness’s location at the time of the incident and the lighting conditions prevalent; who else was there; the physical disparity between the defendant and the victim; whether or not any threats or arguments occurred and when; physical contact by either person and who initiated the contact if it was made; the physical movements of all individuals and the time it took to make the movements; aggressive behavior and aggressive actions by anyone including the defendant and the victim(s); a description of the scene with reference to possible escape routes, location of structures, objects and other persons (photographs and diagrams may be used and the witness asked to make notations or references on them for visual illustration); descriptions of any weapons, if used, and the complete circumstances of their use; the positions of the defendant and the victim(s) at all times, especially at the time physical contact, if any, was made; all attempts by anyone to avoid physical battle; all conversations, especially any statements that were overheard at the scene made by the defendant and the victim(s) that could potentially be admissible evidence due to the exceptions in the hearsay evidence rule; lighting and weather conditions; location of the witnesses at the scene and obstructed views; all observations that have significance with respect to conditions warranting the use of force; the general reputation and moral character of the defendant, the victim(s), and any key witnesses within the community; prior incidents, threats, assaults, criminal acts, and aggressive or passive behavior of the defendant and the victim(s); and, of course, the details and circumstances of how witness statements were taken by police and whether or not they were reviewed, read, and signed by the witness.
It is important to realize that questions will be derived and should be asked based upon the responses of the witness. It is imperative that the defense investigator take detailed notes and not rush the directed interview; it may take hours to complete so be sure the witness is made aware of time requirements and is agreeable to them. If it is noted that the responses of the witness are inconsistent with their statement given to police, question them about it in an inconspicuous manner or, depending upon the established rapport with the witness, call them on it and ask them to explain the change. Above all, try to make the exchange as least adversarial as possible. In other words, make sure the interview is not an interrogation!
Additionally, watch the nonverbal movements of the witness and notice changes in his or her speech patterns throughout the interview. Uncomfortable nonverbal communication and changing, irritating speech patterns usually means it’s time to move on, or that they are not being truthful, or that it just may be time to end the interview! Sometimes, nonverbal communication can make or break an interview. Always be aware of it.
During the interview, the defense investigator must evaluate the witness for bias and/or prejudice, accuracy of recall, interest or lack of interest, frankness or lack of frankness, and any sympathy and/or empathy towards the defendant and/or the victim. The investigator must assess the conduct, demeanor, attitude, character and appearance of the witness in order to form an impression that will ultimately determine if the witness is favorable or unfavorable to the defense. Results of the assessment should be noted in the Witness Evaluation Sheet.
Based upon the results of the interview, and the evaluation and impression of the witness, the defense investigator may or may not decide to take a formal signed, handwritten statement or recorded interview statement. Whichever method is employed, be sure the statement includes all personal, statistical, occupational and employment data, and, where the witness is a police officer or an expert, include their qualifications as such. The decision to take a statement should be based on whether or not the witness is able to provide relevant, material, and useful information and facts about the incident before, while, or after it occurred. If so, take the statement. If not, make detailed notes and document the file as to such. If the witness refuses to give any kind of interview and/or statement for a variety of possible reasons, it should be duly noted and the attorney-client should be informed. If a suspected witness alleges to know nothing about the incident, a negative statement, wherein the witness indicates he or she did not witness the event and cannot provide any information about it, should be attempted. If a witness refuses to provide a statement, don’t force the issue. Explain to the witness the reasons why a statement is preferred, how it may save time and aggravation in the long run, and, if applicable, how the new statement will give the witness the opportunity to correct inaccuracies or mistakes in any statement they may have previously given to police or other investigators. Nine times out of ten, you’ll get the witness to agree to provide a formal statement if you listen to and address his or her concerns and apprehensions.
The defense investigator should always include in any witness statement taken all facts, knowledge and information obtained during the indirect and direct witness interview. Repeat the strong, supportive factual observations of the favorable witness, particularly those that support or satisfy the defense strategy. Emphasize the exaggerations of the unfavorable witness's observations so that, in the end, the witness becomes totally void of credibility. (1)
All handwritten statements should be completely reviewed, read, and, if necessary, corrected by the witness. The witness should initial every correction, sign every page, and affix their signature and the date, time and location of where the statement was taken at the end of the statement below a sentence preferably written by the witness that they have read the entire statement and testify that it is true and correct. The statement should then be copied, indexed in the defense case file index, and the copy should be sent to the attorney-client.
If the Recorded Interview (RI) statement is employed by the defense investigator, it must be done in a strict direct and formatted manner to include: introduction; time, location, person’s present during RI; permission to record; proper identification of the witness; background information; facts of incident and the witness’s observations; pre and post incident activities; follow up questions; re-assertion of recording permission; true and correct paragraph; and conclusion with ending time. It is preferred by most defense investigators to use standard micro cassette recorders with high quality tapes. Tapes used to conduct the RI are EVIDENCE and must be treated as such. They should be marked and labeled for identification and kept in a safe location. Transcription of the RI tape should always be accomplished, and then reviewed by the investigator. In some cases, the attorney-client will ask that the witness sign the RI transcription. If so, the investigator meets with the witness again (opportunity to establish additional rapport) reviews the transcription with the witness, and BOTH the investigator and the witness initial each page and correction made. BOTH the witness and the investigator sign the statement with full and complete signature.
The criminal defense investigator should not be intimidated by the interview and statement taking process because its importance is too indigenous to the success of the investigation and the assurance that justice prevails. Remember to interview the witness rather than to interrogate. As in every phase of the defense investigation, be mindful of the legal elements of the charges, the defense strategy, and apply the facts gathered though the comprehensive witness interview and statement procedure to determine if conditions existed that will support the theories of defense.
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”