I never imagined that this would be part of my story. Having worked as a private investigator for over a decade, I have found a passion in working for the wrongfully convicted. Wrongfully convicted individuals are those who have been found guilty of a crime they did not commit, often due to errors or flaws in the criminal justice system. Common factors contributing to wrongful convictions include mistaken eyewitness identification, false confessions, inadequate legal defense, poor police work, prosecutorial misconduct, flawed forensic evidence, and perjury by witnesses. As with many causes, people don’t become passionate until something happens to someone they love. This was thankfully not how I became involved in working for the innocent. My work brought me here. However, having met several exonerees, I began feeling a tug at my heart. The suffering of those wrongfully convicted is gutting to hear and wholly unacceptable. I felt a responsibility to do something. I began to really contemplate how, as a society, we can be so unconcerned about even one person wrongfully imprisoned, much less thousands. I had to really do the research and sit with the numbers. Then I start realizing that I am not just looking at numbers because every number is a person who has a story. Every one of these stories begins with a person hearing the words, GUILTY! But tragically, they are not. According to https://www.georgiainnocenceproject.org/general/beneath-the-statistics-the-structural-and-systemic-causes-of-our-wrongful-conviction-problem/, it is estimated that between 4-6% of people incarcerated in U.S. prisons are actually innocent. If 5% of individuals are actually innocent, that means 1/20 criminal cases result in a wrongful conviction. According to https://www.prisonpolicy.org/profiles/OK.html, Oklahoma has an incarceration rate of 993 per 100,000 people. This is exponentially higher than both the national and international level. It then stands to reason that Oklahoma has a high number of wrongfully convicted individuals. As a private investigator, I can play a crucial role in post-conviction cases, especially in situations where there is doubt about the guilt of the convicted individual or where new evidence has come to light. The primary objective is to investigate and gather information that can help overturn wrongful convictions or uncover new evidence that could lead to a more just outcome.
As a private investigator working in post-conviction cases, acting as advocate for the justice of those wrongfully incarcerated is as rewarding as working to uncover the truth and rectify miscarriages of justice. It is my goal to help provide investigative resources to assist in the exoneration of wrongfully convicted individuals and ensure that the criminal justice system functions fairly and accurately. I am willing to try to make a difference, even if it is one case, one innocent person at a time.