Private Investigators and the Criminal Justice System
The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution states:
Would you like to take a guess on how many classes on conducting criminal investigations a lawyer or paralegal must take to be licensed to afford “Assistance of Counsel” in a criminal matter? ZERO … Of course, there are classes on criminal procedure, but not on conducting criminal or criminal defense investigations. This is where Professional Investigators come in to assist in “obtaining witnesses in his favor” and providing assistance to counsel on investigatory matters.
Below is a case where the services of a competent investigator could have made a difference in the life of a young man falsely accused of sexual assault.
In 2002, Brian Banks, a rising football star at Polytechnic High School in Long Beach, California, had a consensual sexual liaison on the high school campus with high school classmate Wanetta Gibson. Gibson later accused Banks of kidnapping and raping her. Once Banks was arrested on the allegation, Gibson sued the Long Beach Unified School District alleging the lax security protocols led to an unsafe environment allowing her alleged rape to occur. She would eventually receive a 1.5-million-dollar settlement from the school district. Banks, faced with the possibility of 40 years in prison on the allegation and no way to fight a he-said-she-said argument, plead no contest in a plea deal that garnered him 5 years in prison and the requirement to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Put yourself in Banks’s position. How do you fight an accusation where the only people that know the truth are you and the accuser?
Did Banks taking the deal prove that he was guilty of the charge?
Did the school district settlement to Gibson lend credit to the allegation?
Was justice served?
In 2012 Gibson recanted her accusation and Banks was exonerated.
These are accusations no one ever wants to face but the “he-said-she-said” happens EVERY DAY.
How do you defend yourself from allegations of this nature?
You do so with the assistance of a competent professional investigator.
Distinctive Investigations has conducted investigations just like this. In one recent case, we conducted interviews. We built timelines. We pulled documentation, even weather reports, to prove that the allegation couldn’t have happened in the manner alleged.
In short, we destroyed the State’s case.
It’s not your responsibility to prove your innocence. It is the GOVERNMENT’S responsibility to prove your guilt, but it is prudent to have skilled, competent, objective professional investigators to assist with holding the Government to the high bar of Beyond a Reasonable Doubt set by our Constitution.